Skip to main content

Full text of "Theosophy : religion and occult science"

See other formats


^ — — — o.^ 

^ MOV 1 3 1339 



■4. 



^^\\ 

A'^^ 



BP 520 .05 1885a 

Olcott, Henry Steel, 1832- 

1907. 
Theosophy 



\ 



A/ 



t* 

(. 



*/ 






LECTURES AND ADDRESSES 



ON THEOSOPHY 



THEOSOPHY 



RELIGION AND OCCULT SCIENCE 



BY 



HENRY S. OLCOTT 



PRESIDENT OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 



WITH GLOSSARY OF EASTERN WORDS 




LONDON 
GEORGE REDWAY 

YORK STREET COVEN 1" GARDEN 



MDCCCLXXXV 



^0 the ^Icmarji of 
Prof. WILLIAM GREGORY, M.D., F.R.S.E. 

IN GRATITUDE FOR THE CLUE TO PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE 

FURNISHED TO THE AUTHOR IN HIS WRITINGS 

THIS BOOK IS REVERENTLY DEDICATED 



CONTENTS 



Forewords ... .,, 

Theosophy or Materialism — which? 

England's Welcome ... 

The Theosophical Society and its Aims 
The Common Foundation of all Religions 
Theosophy : the Scientific Basis of Religion 
Theosophy : its Friends and Enemies 

The Occult Sciences 

Spiritualism and Theosophy 
India : Past, Present, and Future .. 
The Civilization that India needs 
The Spirit of the Zoroastrian Religion 
The Life of Buddha and its Lessons 



PAGE 

9 






49 
8i 

ii6 

1 66 

198 

216 

257 
284 

301 
349 



FOREWORDS. 



In complying with the demand for a London 
Edition of my collected Asiatic Lectures and 
Addresses, upon Theosophlcal subjects, a few 
words of explanation will suffice. At the be- 
ginning of last year the original edition was 
issued at Madras, in a semi-private form for the 
instruction of members of the Theosophlcal 
Society, by an officer of the Madras Branch ; 
but every page of the present edition has 
passed through my hands, has been carefully 
edited, and a large amount of original matter 
has been added. A number of the lectures have 
been translated into the vernacular languages 
by native scholars, and circulated at their own 
expense ; among them, the discourse upon 
the Zoroastrlan religion, of which the ParsI 
community of Bombay circulated — If my 
memory serves me — twenty thousand copies 
in Encrlish and Guzeratl. I recall two In- 
cidents in connection with that lecture which 



X FOREWORDS, 

give it a special interest : it led to the 
organization of a Parsi Archceological Society 
at Bombay, and was one of the final causes 
of the rupture of friendly relations between 
the eminent Aryan reformer, the late Swami 
Dayanand Saraswati, and the Founders of 
the Theosophical Society. That lamented 
and illustrious man had been upon the most 
intim.ate terms with us, and his great Indian 
Society, the Arya Samaj, was regarded as the 
sister to our own ororanization. But the 
Swami was a very intolerant, not to say 
bigoted Aryan, and had no mercy for those 
who professed another religion than the Vedic. 
My lecture upon the faith of the Parsis was 
represented to him as a proof of my having 
embraced Zoroastrianism, and was made a 
pretext to break off our previously reciprocal 
connection. Like many other strict secta- 
rians, he could not understand the Theoso- 
phical spirit of conceding to the people of 
all creeds the right of enjoying their religious 
convictions unmolested, nor the duty resting 
upon us to help them to discover and live up 
to the highest ideal that their respective re- 
ligions contain. We are fully convinced that 



FOREWORDS. xi 

all religions are but branches of one sole 
Truth ; and the aim of our public teachings 
and private discourses has always been to 
force this fact upon the attention of our 
auditors. In short, we are not " all things 
to all men," as has ungenerously been said, 
but the same thing to all men — viz., Theoso- 
phlsts, who believe in the essential Identity 
of all men, race, caste, and creed, to the con- 
trary notwithstanding. 

In the several hundred discourses I have de- 
livered In India and Ceylon, during the last 
six years, nothing more than a popular pre- 
sentation of elementary facts has been aimed 
at. There are metaphysicians enough to en- 
lighten, and confuse, the higher reading 
public ; but to one who can follow them 
through their demonstrations there are fifty 
who lack time, ability, or both. This, 
primarily, is my public ; and I shall be 
delighted to be the means of awakening 
in some of these the desire for profounder 
study of problems so absorbing. 

I have ever been most deeply interested In 
the future of the young, who are just now be- 
ginning their responsible career. With reli- 



xn FOREWORDS, 

gious feeling stifled by our modern system of 
education, they are too often avowed agnos- 
tics, if not crass materialists. This is lament- 
able, the more so, since it is unnecessary. 
Materialism is unscientific — utterly, absurdly 
so : one need not go far in psychological re- 
search to discover so much. But the sciolists 
win not admit it, nor take the least pains to 
get at the truth. They arouse the righteous 
anger of every student of any branch of arch- 
aic psychology, by their unworthy behaviour 
towards this greatest of sciences. They vio- 
late their own canons, by limiting the range of 
inquiry to the field of the physical senses, 
against the protest of those who have dis- 
covered facts lying beyond it, and senses by 
which they may be observed. The existence 
of those senses is the necessary corollary of 
the theory of Evolution, and the Esoteric Phil- 
osophy at once proves its validity, and shows 
how they may be fully developed. From 
experimental Physics we pass to axiomatic 
Metaphysics, through the experimental chan- 
nel of transcendental Physics. Unless we 
admit the unthinkable proposition that there 
is a fixed limit to Evolution, it follows that 



FOREWORDS. xiii 

Western Science in its full development will 
ultimately reach the same conclusion at which 
Aryan Philosophy arrived ages ago. Hence 
Theosophy is the complement both of science 
and of philosophy, and as such is entitled to 
the respectful examination of the savant and 
the theologian. 

As it appears that many of the most com- 
mon of Oriental terms are unknown here in 
the West, except to " old Indians," I have by 
request added a copious Glossary, the words 
for interpretation having been selected out of 
the present volume by that excellent English 
scholar, Mr. Richard Heme Shepherd, who 
has also prepared, with care, the excellent 
index, which adds largely to the value of the 
book. 

To avoid delay, persons wishing to corres- 
pond with the author upon any of the sub- 
jects treated upon in these discourses should 
address him at the headquarters of the Theo- 
sophlcal Society, Adyar, Madras, India. 

H. S. O. 

Lonhon, October^ 1S84. 



THEOSOPHY OR MATERIALISM— 

WHICH ?-^- 



Sixty-six years ago Schopenhauer declared his 
opinion that the greatest advantage of the nine- 
teenth century over previous eras lay in its access 
to the Vedas through the Upanishads, and pre- 
dicted for the study of Sanskrit literature an 
influence upon intellectual development not in- 
ferior to that of the revival of Greek in the fifteenth 
century.t He spoke of " the sacred, primitive 
Indian wisdom " as the best preparation for his 
own philosophy. And it is worthy of remark that 
the reputation of this great thinker is culminating 
at a time when his anticipation, which at the date 
of publication must have seemed strange or ex- 
travagant to all but a few far-seeing scholars, 
is in course of scarcely doubtful fulfilment. A 
parallel similar to that suggested by Schopenhauer 
has been drawn by Max Miiller, who has also 
testified to the already pervading influence of the 

* The author thankfully acknowledges the valuable aid given 
him in the collation of materials for this chapter, by an English 
friend, whose modesty forbids the mention of his name. 

t Preface to "The World as Will and Representation'' (Ilal- 
dane and Kemp's translation). 



i6 THEOSOPHY OR MA TERIALISM— WHICH ? 

new studies. In his Address to the Conoress of 
Orientalists in 1874, he said: "We know what it 
was for the Northern nations, the old barbarians 
of Europe, to be brought into spiritual contact 
with Greece and Rome, and to learn that beyond 
the small, poor world in which they had moved, 
there was an older, richer, brighter world, the 
ancient world of Rome and Athens, with its arts 
and laws, its poetry and philosophy, all of which 
they might call their own, and make their own, by 
claiming the heritage of the past. We know how, 
from that time, the Classical and Teutonic spirits 
mingled together, and formed that stream of 
modern thought on whose shores we ourselves live 
and move. A new stream is now being brought 
into the same bed, the stream of Oriental thought, 
and already the colours of the old stream show 
very clearly the influence of that new tributary. 
Look at any of the important works published 
during the last twenty years, not only on language, 
but on literature, mythology, law, religion, and 
philosophy, and you will see on every page the 
working of a new spirit.'*' * 

Recognizing the fact of this influence, we can 
only estimate its probable development in any 
direction by looking at the intellectual conditions 
prepared for it. The first and most indispensable 
of these, in relation to religious ideas, is a relaxa- 
tion of dogmatic faith in the recipient community. 
So long as spiritual intelligence is restrained in the 
* Chips from a German Workshop, vol. iv. p. 342. 



THEOSOPHY OR MATERIALISM—WHICH? 17 

hard capsule of any of its formal systems, there 
can be no assimilation, and, therefore, no true 
influence. It is only at that period of ideal de- 
velopment, when the rind of an historical or 
traditional religion has served its purpose of 
growth and preservation, and permits the libera- 
tion of its vital spirit, that the latter can find itself 
in the general atmosphere of thought. Nor is this 
natural process always recognized for what it is. 
Just as in sensuous apprehension the body stands 
for the man, so the same principle in religion clings 
to its external and familiar form, and sees in the 
disintegrating action of intellectual progress only a 
negative side and an infidel tendency. But we 
may leave out of account a conservatism which is 
being visibly submerged beneath the rising level 
of intelligence, and ask what essentially it is that 
this intelligence demands for the support of its 
religious life? 

Now, in the first place, it requires that this shall 
repose upon an order of ideas not exposed to 
destructive invasion. Beliefs are needed which 
shall not find their origin and home in ignorance, 
to be dislodged from their positions with every 
advance of knowledge. Nor must there be any 
dependence upon historical evidences, or risk from 
their critical examination. Further, the founda- 
tions of religion must be such as cannot be im- 
paired by the comparative methods of study which 
discovery and scholarship have brought into vogue. 
The dogmatic fabric of Christianity, so far as its 



i8 THEOSOPHY OR MATERIALISM— WHICH? 

basis must be conceived as historical, is already in 
a ruinous, or highly-precarious condition. Any 
one who questions this must, at least, admit 
it to be the opinion of many who represent the 
progressive thought and Intelligence of the com- 
munity, the classes upon which the influence of 
science and inquiry is most apparent. Nor is this 
disposition at all confined to those whose special 
studies or mode of life may be thought to promote 
indifference to religious problems. The wide cir- 
culation of such works as " Ecce Homo," 
^' Natural Religion," and others of recent years, Is 
sufficient indication of public sympathy with the 
scepticism of thoroughly reverent minds. And 
without quoting from the Innumerable testimonies 
afforded by current literature, it will suffice to advert 
to the perfectly open and unrestrained manner in 
which these questions are now publicly discussed, 
in contrast to the cautious, veiled, and tentative 
treatment they received from the sceptical side less 
than a generation ago. Our intellectual leaders, 
indeed, have ceased to regard dogmatic Christianity 
as any longer an open question for modern thought. 
There is a general assumption among them that 
this, as much as any other special system of religion, 
exhibits merely an historical phase of mental 
development, and from that point of view alone 
retains an Interest for the philosophic mind. And 
turning from free-thinkers to the Church itself, 
we see much that Is significant of the same general 
tendency. Not to insist on a few notorious, and 



THEOSOPHY OR MATERIALISM—WHICH ' 19 

many other less ostentatious retreats from positions 
felt to be untenable, the most influential of the 
clergy are seeking to spiritualize the Christian doc- 
trine, without openly offending the popular and 
orthodox apprehension of it. Few of them, pro- 
bably, are explicitly aware that every advance in 
this direction, while it extracts the essential and 
interior truth which Christianity possesses In com- 
mon with every religion worthy of the name, 
is a suppression of Its distinctive character. This 
can only be apparent to those who have made a 
profound and sympathetic study of other systems ; 
a study for which the exclusive pretensions of 
Christianity have allowed little encouragement to 
its official professors. The practical problem of all 
religion being to ascertain the conditions of spiritual 
development, in proportion as our conceptions are 
freed from the formal, historical, and accidental 
elements peculiar to each system, will the substan- 
tial identity of all the radical solutions be discover- 
able. Thus purified and understood, they will be 
beyond the reach of the disproof from positive 
knowledge which is sooner or later reserved for all 
their temporal and external investiture. Neverthe- 
less, they will still involve metaphysical and trans- 
cendental assumptions ; though not contrary to 
science, they will still be non-scientific ; and, in short, 
there will be little to distinguish them from the ethical 
forms of a hypothetical philosophy. That brings us to 
the further demand which modern intelligence makes 
upon its future religion, if it is to have one at al). 



20 THE OS PHY OR MA TERIALISM— WHICH? 

If Mr. Herbert Spencer is right, true religion is 
not the solution of a problem, but the statement 
and elevation of the problem itself as inscrutable.* 
And herein he finds the reconciliation of science 
and religion. Science and philosophy proclaim the 
relativity of all positive knowledge ; but Iw that 
very statement they affirm the existence of the 
Absolute, and concede to religion divested of all 
particularity and definiteness an appropriate and 
inexpugnable sphere. Although we can say no- 
thing of the Reality transcending phenomenal exist- 
ence, save only that it is, yet "in this assertion of a 
reality utterly inscrutable in nature, Religion finds 
an assertion essentially coinciding with her own. 
And this consciousness of an Incomprehen- 
sible Power, called Omnipresent from inability 
to assign its limits, is just that consciousness on 
which religion dwells." f 

The result at which this distinguished philoso- 
pher has arrived, as regards the intellectual possi- 
bilities of religion, may thus be expressed in a 
single sentence. The foundation is sound, but any 
superstructure that can conceivably be reared upon 
it must be wholly without warrant. To none can 
be conceded even a provisional validity, for the 
ultimate good of religious thought is not a developed 
consciousness of the unseen, but the recognition of 
a perfectly abstract mystery." + For human in- 

* First Principles — Part I. : " The Unknowable." 
t Op. cil.^ p. 45. 

X " Through all its successive phases the disappearance of those 
positive dogmas by which the mystery was made unmysterious, 



THEOSOPHY OR MATERIALISM— WHICH? 21 

telUgence, therefore, religion does not, and cannot, 
exist, since it is essentially the consciousness of the 
limits of that intelligence itself. The momentous 
questions in which Philosophy and Religion concur 
are here pronounced to be illegitimate — the hopeless, 
resultless beating of thought against its own 
barriers ; prompted, indeed, by a consciousness, but 
a consciousness which can never be defined ; testi- 
fying to a truth, but a truth which can never be 
known. 

Regarding Mr. Herbert Spencer as the plenipo- 
tentiary of Science in its negotiation with Religion, 
it is certain that peace can never be concluded on 
the terms he offers. If he has rightly defined the 
issue, the conflict must go on till the race is 
educated into Agnosticism, or relapses into super- 
stition. 

But is the issue rightly defined ? Can we accept 
Mr. Spencer's statement of the terms of the pro- 
blem? Or is it not rather in the inadequate limits he 
assigns to, or assumes for, Science itself in the first 
place ; and, secondly, in a similarly wrong limita- 
tion of the true objects of religious thought ; and, 
thirdly, in a consequently fallacious distinction 
where there is no essential difference, that we find 
the sources of insufficiency and error in his result ? 

Within the space of this essay, only a succinct 

has formed the essential change delineated in religious history. 
And so Religion has ever been approximating towards that coni' 
plete recognition of this mystery" (the Absolute) "which is ils 
goal " (p. 100). 



22 THE OSOPH Y OR MA TERIALISM— WHICH? 

explanation can be given of these suggestions, 
which introduce us to the whole subject of Eastern 
religious philosophy in its most important, yet 
least understood relation to the question here 
raised. For that question is essentially this : 
whether there can be a science of those problems 
— a science resting, as all science must rest, upon 
experience for its verification — an experience under 
conditions possible to all, since they have been 
actually realized by some. The reader is here, at 
the outset, requested not to make any assumptions 
concerning the nature and evidence of the ex- 
perience referred to, not to confound it with a 
vague and eccentric mysticism, or wdth conditions 
of which psychological pathology can give account. 
Nor must it be supposed that an appeal is made 
to the phenomenal so-called " Spiritualism " of 
recent years, whatever claims this may have, in 
another relation of the subject, to more attentive 
consideration than it has hitherto received. The 
experience here spoken of is not the alleged seeing 
and conversing with " spirits," but satisfies the 
scientific conception of experience in general. In 
other words, the conditions of this experience are 
defined. To say that these conditions require 
much preparation and training for their attain- 
ment is only to admit what must be asserted in a 
less degree of every physical experiment which 
demands a scientific education. And, what is 
important to observe, these conditions are just such 
as religion has always striven to affirm, but re- 



THEOSOPHY OR MATERIALISM— WHICH? 23 

cUiced to exact and Intelligible statement, and 
divested of the pietistic language of an immature 
and mysterious consciousness. This involves a 
conclusion the very re vers'", of Mr. Herbert 
Spencer's. The true goal of religion is not mys- 
tery, but science — a science dealing with a strictly 
verifiable order of facts, though an order trans- 
cending that with which physical science, whose 
professors wrongfully limit the generic term, is 
concerned. 

What are the suppositions of Religion with which 
it is assumed that " Science " can never deal ? 
That there is a world or objective state beyond 
the cognizance of our physical senses ; that man is 
a subject who, in addition to his physical organism, 
has faculties — it may be undeveloped at the present 
stage of human evolution, or it may be only dor- 
mant — fitted to relate him by immediate conscious- 
ness and perception with that other world ; * and 
that physical disintegration affects only the mode, 
and not the existence, of individual consciousness. 
Lastly and chiefly, though in connexion with the 
foregoing propositions. Religion carries her account 
of man yet higher, asserting his relation to a 
Principle which is the source and inspiration of his 
moral consciousness, and which manifests itself in 
him as the perpetual tendency to realise an 
Universal Will and Nature, and to subordinate the 
individual limitation. These are the fundamental 

'■ " There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body " (i 
Cor. XV. 44). 



24 THE OSOPHY OR MA TERIALISM— WHICH ? 

postulates of Religion, upon which have been built 
all the doctrinal fabrics of particular and perish- 
able creeds. These are the propositions which 
religious intelligence never can dispense with, 
which physical science has not refuted, and which 
transcendental science affirms. 

That this transcendentalism does not pretend to 
a cognition of the Absolute, and is thus perfectly 
consistent with the doctrine of the phenomenality 
and relativity of knowledge, should be already 
apparent. What it is opposed to is not Science, 
not Philosophy, but Materialism ; and even to 
Materialism only in the crude and popular sense of 
that term. For that we Western tyros know 
nothing of " Matter " that entitles us to say it can 
have no other manifestation than in the mode 
we call physical — the object of our present senses 
— will be granted by every philosophical man of 
science. The most that can be said is that we 
have no evidence of its existence in any other 
mode. " After all," says Professor Huxley, " what 
do we know of this terrible ' matter,' except as a 
name for the unknown and hypothetical cause of 
states of our own consciousness ? "* The material- 
ism, if such it can be called, of our really instructed 
thinkers, thus amounts only to the proposition that 
the world of our present perception, the world as 
known to physical science, is the result of a particu- 
lar mode of action of an unknown cause. That 
mode of action is objectively manifested in the 

* " Lay Sermons," p. 142. 



THEOSOPHY GR MATERIALISM— WHICH? 25 

organism, or, as it is called, the physical basis of 
consciousness. The possibility of a transcendental 
science is just the possibility of other modes of 
action of this unknown cause, resulting in other 
conditions, and therefore in another world, of con- 
sciousness. The constant misuse of the word 
'' supernatural," by which it is made to signify not 
only what is altogether beyond the range of pheno- 
menal existence, but also every possible mode of 
such existence which is not related to our present 
organic conditions, ought to receive no countenance 
from men of science. " Nature " is co-extensive 
with existence, and to meet every reference to 
modes of existence, other than under conditions 
known to us, with the term " supernaturalism," 
is simply to betray confusion and inaccuracy of mind. 
Yet, for this confusion, the absence of any 
definite ideas concerning the conditions of post- 
mortem existence is largely responsible. On the 
great question of individual immortality — of sur- 
viving consciousness — Christianity has long ceased 
to offer any conceptions by which it is thinkable to 
the modern intellect. Some hypothesis, at least, is 
required by which this truth may be intelligibly 
apprehended. It is probable that a single book by 
two eminent men of science has done more to arrest 
the growing discredit into which this belief was 
falling than all the works of past or contemporary 
thcolosrians.* 



* (( 



The Unseen Universe, or Physical Speculations on a Fuf.ure 
State," by Professors Balfour Stewart and P. G. Tait. The public 



26 IHEOSOPHY OR MATERIALISM— WHICH? 

Doubtless, Religion proposes higher aims than 
the mere demonstration of conscious perpetuation. 
But this is an indispensable pre-supposition, and is 
an essential part of that transcendental science 
which is absolutely wanting in the West, and which 
the East can supply. 

The foregoing considerations are intended only 
to clear the ground of negative assumptions and 
misconceptions which are constantly put forward in 
the name of science. Until it has been conceded 
that physical science has nothing to object to the 
possibility of transcendental science, no way can be 
made in describing the methods of the latter, or in 
showing that it fulfils the conditions, and offers the 
results, demanded by human intelligence at the 
present age for a developed conception of religion. 

The whole purpose of Religion may be succinctly 
defined as the verification in individual human con- 
sciousness of metaphysical and transcendental 
truth. It presupposes that the faculties of verifica- 
tion are undeveloped. It is of necessity a doctrine 
of evolution. This truth, which should come home 
to the Western understanding at the present time, 
is at the foundation of religious philosophy in the 
East. But it is not there the abstract or ill-defined 
statement which it remains still in Christianity ; it 
is a theoretical and practical system for all who 
will study and pursue it. So far is it from being 

interest in the application of scientific thought to this subject is evi- 
denced by the fact that this book, first published in 1877, had 
already reached its tenth edition in iSSi. 



7'HEOSOPHY OK MATERIALISM— WHICH? 27 

true that the East is the land of metaphor and 
dream, and the West the seat of practical intelli- 
gence, that in all that concerns transcendental 
reality or religion, the very reverse is the case. 
The right statement, however, is, that the practical 
and scientific intelligence of the East has its home 
in the higher realities, that of the West in the lower 
ones. And if the religious spirit in the West finds 
itself in a doubtful or opposed relation to what is 
there alone recognized as science, that is due to the 
fact that its own sense of the higher realities has 
not attained to definite conceptions, but is still in 
the undeveloped state of abstract affirmation, or in 
the nebulous state of mysticism. Herein consists 
the supreme importance of the influence of Eastern 
ideas upon the West at the present time. It is a 
reaction and an exchange. We are giving to India 
the knowledge and advantage of many practical 
things relating to our lower needs and nature. In 
return she offers us the wisdom acquired by 
thought and experience on a higher plane. A few 
years ago, before our own dogmatic preconceptions 
had yielded to the action of intellectual solvents, 
the opportunity would have been premature. The 
belief that it is so no longer is the rationale and 
justification of the Theosophical Society, the 
character and aims of which will be partly apparent 
from the following Lectures. 

The secret which the East has to impart is the 
doctrine and conditions of evolution of the higher 
as yet undeveloped faculties in man. But are there 



28 THEOSOPHY OR MATERIALISM— WHICH i 

such faculties, such possibihties ? The answer to this 
question appeals to that rudimentary consciousness 
of them from which religion arises. This witness 
of a consciousness not yet raised to knowledge is 
Faith, which is indeed " the substance of things 
hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen." 
To those who may think they have it not, or that 
it can be explained away, no other conviction can 
be brought. Upon the recognition of it depends 
the claim to attention of any system professing to 
expound the principles of Nature in its entirety. 
Such a system is now in course of publication for 
the first time. The preparation for it is in the in- 
creasing interest of Western culture in Eastern 
ideas. Through the labours of Western Oriental- 
ists, the abstract doctrines of these religious philo- 
sophies are already more or less clearly appre- 
hended. But the developed doctrines are not 
accessible to the ordinary reader, who, moreover, 
finds in the sacred writings as translated for him 
much which can be interpreted by no conceptions 
provided by Western thought and education. The 
Upanishads, for instance, abound with allusions 
which require an undiscovered key for their eluci- 
dation. And so of the Buddhist writings. The 
existence of living schools which are the reposi- 
tories of a more intimate knowledge had not been 
suspected till recently, and is not yet admitted by 
our Orientalists. The Theosophical Society is in 
communication with these, and is actively employed 
in collecting the information they will impart. Its 



THE OS PHY OR 3fA TERIALISM— WHICH? 29 

organ, The Theosophist, is chiefly devoted to these 
teachings. The well-known book by Mr. A. P. 
Sinnett, " Esoteric Buddhism," is perhaps the best 
general representation of them, so far as already 
understood, which could be given to the English 
public. Other books are preparing, and a literature 
of Theosophy, or the Esoteric Philosophy of the 
ages, is steadily growing. An attempt even to sum- 
marize the doctrines in question would be beyond 
the scope of this work. Nor must it be supposed 
that the Theosophical Society, to which the reader 
is introduced in these Lectures, requires subscription 
to any creed. Its Fellows are students, not co- 
religionists in any sectarian sense. They are, how- 
ever, associated by a principle, an idea — Fraternity 
— of which, since it may either be misconceived, or 
be regarded as quite impracticable, something 
should here be added. 

In the closing chapter of Lange's " History of 
Materialism," it is well said : 

*' One thing, however, is certain : if the New is 
to come into existence, and the Old is to disappear, 
two great things must combine — a world-kindling 
ethical idea and a social influence which is powerful 
enough to lift the depressed masses a great step 

forward The victory over disintegrating 

esfoism and the deadly chilliness of the heart will 
only be won by a great ideal, which appears amidst 
the wondering peoples as a ' stranger from another 
world/ and by demanding the impossible un- 
hinges the reality" (vol. iii., p. 355). 



30 THEOSOPHY OR MA TERIALISM— WHICH ? 

And again : 

" Often already has an epoch of Materialism 
been but the stillness before the storm, which 
was to burst forth from unknown gulfs, and to give 
a new shape to the world. We lay aside the pen 
of criticism at a moment when the social question 
stirs all Europe — a question on whose wide domain 
all the revolutionary elements of science, of re- 
ligion, and of politics, seem to have found the 
battle-ground for a great and decisive contest. 
Whether this battle remains a bloodless conflict of 
minds, or whether, like an earthquake, it throws 
down the ruins of a past epoch with thunder into 
the dust, and buries millions beneath its wreck, 
certain it is that the new epoch will not conquer 
unless it be under the banner of a great idea 
which sweeps away egoism, and sets human per- 
fection in human fellowship as a new aim in the 
place of reckless toil, which looks only to the per- 
sonal gain " ( ibid.^ p. 361). 

It is to such an idea as this that the Theoso- 
phical Society seeks to give a formal, if not already 
a quite practical expression. It is no new dis- 
covery, certainly, this reassertion of the essential 
r.nlty of the race, of Brotherhood as a principle to 
be elevated above all accidental or historical dis- 
tinctions. It is, on the contrary, the one vital 
ethical result out of religious thought. Is it there- 
fore a truism too barren or abstract to form the 
basis of practical association ? Is it nothing to ex- 
tricate It from the diversities of dogma in which its 



rilEOSOPH V OR MA TERM LISM— WHICH ? 3 1 

significance is buried, to renew it in the hearts of 
men and women of all sects and creeds as the vow 
and obligation of their lives? Is it an objection 
that the Society does not come before the world 
with a single, well-devised application of the prin- 
ciple? Those who. would offer this as an objection 
cannot have realized how much more than abstract 
assent is implied in the recognition and study of 
the principle itself The conquest of selfishness 
and prejudice in all their forms, national, social 
sectarian, political, private, is the aim which 
grows in every individual mind out of a living 
sense of human fraternity. Its applications on the 
wider scale of law and co-operation must be self- 
developed. They are not to be the fanatical im- 
pulses of half-educated " world-betterers." They 
will emerge spontaneously and surely from the 
unity of spirit and habit acting upon an intelli- 
gent and well-informed apprehension of the pro- 
blems, and from the subordination of self-interest. 

Many practical problems which seem insoluble 
to individual thinkers can only find their solvent in 
an altered disposition of mankind. All religions 
seek to effect this change of disposition in the in- 
dividual consciousness. But nearly all religious 
systems have preferred their specific and distinctive 
tenets to their true universal basis and inherent 
tendency, and have thus become the most dis- 
cordant of influences in the world they would re- 
o-enerate. Therefore it is that the Theosophical 
Society has no room for propagandists of any 



32 THEOSOPHY OR MATERTALISM— WHICH? 

exclusive creed. Its principle indeed requires that 
none of its members should even mentally assert 
the exclusive sanctity of his own religious denomina- 
tion. In India, the Society has been opposed and 
denounced at every turn by Christian mission- 
aries ; and if on its side it has seemed to evince 
hostility to Christianity, that is because its represen- 
tatives identify it with those arrogant pretensions 
v/hich make peace, charity, and fraternity impossible. 
If we point out to the natives of India that the form 
of Christianity taught by these zealots is becoming 
more and more discredited among the best religious 
thinkers of the West itself, our doing so belongs 
rather to our duty as educated Europeans than to 
any polemical disposition. The fact that we number 
in our ranks, not only many avowed Christians, 
but also some conspicuous members of the Chris- 
tian clergy, may be referred to in relation to a mis- 
understanding from which even some of our own 
Fellows in England have not been free. 

We have spoken of the advocacy of the principle 
of Universal Brotherhood, or, to avoid the charge 
of Utopianism, of a kindly reciprocity and mutual 
tolerance between men and races, as a primary 
object of the Theosophical Society. We can" 
happily point to the rapid extension of that 
organization to various countries, and the actual 
gathering together into the same of many persons 
of the most incongruous sects, and hitherto anti- 
pathetic nationalities, as substantial proof of its 
practicability. But this is only one out of the three 



THEOSOFHY OR MA TERIALISM— WHICH ? 33 

declared objects of the Society, as the following 
pages show. Its second object is the promotion 
of the study of Aryan and other Eastern literature, 
religions, and sciences. Schopenhauer wrote even 
more wisely than he knew when making his pro- 
phetic utterances in 18 18. For, not only are the 
Uplianishads inestimably rich repositories of philo- 
sophical and spiritual thought, but also in the great 
body of Sanskrit, Pali and Zend literature is an in- 
exhaustible mine of noble and inspiriting thought. 
We might despair of ever making any important 
contributions to this department of knowledge, were 
we dependent wholly upon our own labours ; for 
the proper work of the Founders of the Society is 
rather that of organization than research. Having, 
however, the active aid of many of the most learned 
native scholars of Asia, and through them access to 
the rest, we feel confident that the movement we 
are directing will result in substantial gain to the 
scholar, the moralist and the philosopher. The 
Society's third declared object relates to the investi- 
gation of the unfamiliar laws of Nature and the 
faculties latent in man. An inordinate prominence 
has been given to the psychic phenomena produced 
by Madame Blavatsky, which, however striking in 
themselves, are nevertheless but a small part of 
Theosophy as a great whole. To a very limited ex- 
tent these questions are considered in the following 
Lectures ; but for full details the reader must be re- 
ferred to the literature of the Occult sciences, now 
being constantly enriched by new publications. 



34 THKOSOPHY OR MATERIALISM— WHICH? 

No amount of reading, however, will suffice for a 
knowledge of the subject; at best, it gives but a 
smattering of information as a basis of beHef. Nor 
can a teacher develop the psychic powers in a way 
to make them docile and trustworthy to the 
student's will. Psychic growth is the fruit of self- 
mastery ; the Initiate is, more than any one else, 
" a self-made man ! " The Theosophical Society 
docs not make adepts : it but hints at their exist- 
ence and points to the path. 



ENGLAND'S WELCOME. '=■ 



Mr. Chairman,— On behalf of the General 
Council of the Theosophical Society, on Madame 
Blavatsky's behalf, and on my own, I thank you and 
this assemblage of colleagues and well-wishers for 
your cordial welcome. That a company so brilliant 
and distinguished should have gathered here for this 
kindly purpose, is to us most gratifying and, I 
may add, surprising. We have not been accus- 
tomed to such treatment at the hands of the people 
of our race, but rather to its opposite. Before 
leaving India, with the recollection still vivid of 
the abuse and obloquy we had to endure in 
that country, we should not have dared to 
anticipate it. I take this to mark a new era and a 
turning-point in our Society's history. All we 
have ever asked is that we might be heard with 
patience by the cultured classes of Europe ; and 
here I see many representatives of British Science, 
Art, and Literature, of Diplomacy and of Society, 
assembled to hear what we have to say. There must 
be a substantial power in Theosophy, since it has 

* An Address delivered at Prince's Hall, Piccadilly, London, 
July 21, 1S84, in response to a greeting to the Founders of the 
Theosophical Society by the Pondon members, through the Pre- 
sident of the local Lodge. 



36 ENGLAND'S WELCOME. 

become so widespread a social movement In 
various countries ; without the adventitious help 
of august patronage, of great capital, or of fanatical 
support. It has become a theme for discussion at 
hundreds of British hearths, and, spreading from 
the most thoughtful to the most frivolous circles, is 
now actually noticed by " Society " journals as the 
fashionable talk of the day at the tea-tables of 
Belgravia and in the Holy Land of the West End ! 
These " fashion-writers " speak of it as a whim of the 
moment, to be forgotten, like the sun-flower and 
crutch, for to-morrow's caprice. But it vrill not — 
mark me, it will not — be forgotten. The day's folly of 
the drawing-room Is ephemeral as Its pleasure ; but 
the ideas provoked by Theosophy eat Into the mind, 
and cannot be dislodged. For they pertain to the 
secret causes of joy and sorrow, of our future, 
of our very existence Itself, and these cannot be 
dismissed at will. Let the jesters jest on, with 
their squibs, lampoons, and comic poems : they 
are but turning the mill-stonns of Destiny, 
which grind the grist of the nation's thought. 

My gifted countryman, Mr. Moncure Conway, 
said the other day that every idea must finally come 
to this metropolis to be tested and receive its mint- 
mark. He was right ; and we are now bringing 
you the golden ore of Theosophy, dug from the 
long-closed Intellectual mines of our Asiatic pro- 
genitors. We ourselves put it into the melting-pots 
of Western criticism, and ask that it may be tested, 
amalgamated with the purest silver of Western 



ENGLAND'S WELCOME. 37 

thought, and then thrown into circulation. We 
have come to the bar of British public opinion to 
plead the cause of humanity, which sorely suffers 
through ignorance of the laws of spirit, soul, and 
mind, as well as those of the body. We do not 
pretend to leadership ; but we demand a seat in the 
Council which is deliberating on the master pro- 
blems of Religion and Science. The Materialis':, 
Positivist, Agnostic, and Secularist, are already 
there, in conspicuous places, jostling the Ecclesi- 
astic ; crushing religious sentiment, undermining 
spiritual aspirations, blackening the sky of sunny 
Intuition, robbing this reading and inquiring 
age of the last vestige of belief in the existence of 
man after the death of the body, and uncovering 
the black and yawning abyss of oblivion and ex- 
tinction into which they would have us leap. The 
Church has anathematised in vain ; the sharpest 
blades of theological dogmatism have broken like 
weak reeds upon the steely helms of the Biologist 
and Evolutionist. The party of Religion have 
been forced from their stronghold in the human 
heart, and the party of Materialistic science have 
usurped the conquered ground. It has come at 
last to such a point that well-read men can hardly be 
induced to discuss whether the creed of Christendom 
is in extremis or not ; regarding it as a waste of 
time, since none but the illiterate doubt the fact. 
That Rubicon, they aver, was crossed long ago. 
The victorious cohorts of Freethought are gathering 
to the trumpet-call of Darw^in, Huxley, Haeckel. of 



38 ENGLAND'S WELCOME. 

Mill, Clifford, Lewes and Greg. They are building 
temples to their new god, Protoplasm, out of the 
debris of the world's old faiths, as the early Chris- 
tians utilized the shrines of the Pagan deities to 
build churches. It is the old, old story of 
evolution, change and growth ; the story that can 
be read in every sociological evolution in the history 
of our race. Whether by voice, or book, or sword 
the change is brought about, come it always 
must. The seed-germ of the next race, or civiliza- 
tion or creed, can only germinate as the dry husk 
decays, within which its potentiality was secretly de- 
veloped. The friends of Materialism hope that it 
may be the outcome of the destruction of Spiritu- 
ality. Shall it ? That is the question put by the 
Theosophical Society to you, thinking men and 
women of Europe. For the choice is narrowed to 
this : either materialistic Atheism* and Nihilism — 
the conception of a short life between two blanks — 
or Theosophy. Say what }'ou may, laugh as you 

* The use of the expression " materialistic Atheism " in this con- 
nexion has been made the pretext by seme not very friendly critics 
to charge me with a belief in a personal God. It will be impossible 
for any one to point to a single sentence ever spoken or written by 
me which would give colour to such a charge. Upon a hundred 
public occasions I have defined the " God " of the Founders of our 
Society to be identical with the Universal Principle — formless, 
changeless, devoid of the attributes of personality and of limitation 
— which is postulated by the highest metaphysicians of Asia. This is 
made very plain even in the few Lectures that have been preserved 
out of several hundreds delivered in India and Ceylon to constitute the 
present volume. And it is equally clear that, whatever may be my 
personal views or those of INIadame Blavatsky, no one in our 
Society is responsible for them, save ourselves 



ENGLAND'S WELCOME. 39 

will, mock as you choose — that is the issue of to- 
day. Religion has but one foundation — Theosophy; 
a Church built upon any other is as a house built 
in the air. Let not the Christian tell me that the 
Bible offers its " scheme of salvation and its blessed 
promises;" nor the Jew that the inspired scrolls 
of the Law bear the divine messages of Sinai and 
the Prophets ; nor the Hindu that the sacred Veda, 
if read with faith and understanding, reveals all trutli 
that man is fit to receive, and that the Upanishads 
are full of the glory of spiritual life. Let all this be 
granted to each ; yet these books have no 
meaning to the spiritually blind eye of our sceptical 
generation, nor the words of their most authoritative 
expositors any sound to the faith-dulled ear of the 
youth whose University has taught him to believe 
nothing he sees or hears until it is experimentally 
proven. It is absolutely a waste of time to 
appeal to a sentiment of loyal faith in ecclesias- 
tical authority long since practically extinct. The 
only chance of dislodging Materialism from its 
fortress is to prove it unscientific^ and Esoteric Philo- 
sophy scientific. It is with the hammer of science 
that its idols, if they are to be broken at all, must 
be demolished. We, Founders of the Theosophical 
Society, planted it upon that basic general proposi- 
tion, as upon a rock that can buffet the storms of 
criticism. And the experience of nine years 
since come and gone has convinced us that we 
were right. Our work has extended to America, 
Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australasia — in all which 



40 ENGLAND'S WELCOME. 

continents we have now established branches of the 
parent Society ; we have met and discussed with 
many superior minds of different nationahties ; 
and our conclusion is that if we had the work of 
founding our Society to do over again, we could 
not choose a broader, surer, safer basis of 
activity than that which you will find sketched out 
in its three avowed or declared objects. Those 
three foundations - stones are : to promote a 
feeling of brotherhood among men, regardless of 
race, creed, or colour ; to promote the study of the 
Aryan and other religions, philosophies, and 
sciences ; and to promote experimental research 
into the hidden laws of Nature and the latent 
capabilities of man. The canons of modern Science 
are equally the canons of ancient Oriental philo- 
sophy. If the one rests upon fact so does the 
other. Our Western college professors teach us to 
take nothing upon faith ; our masters of the 
Eastern school do the like. The motto written on 
the title-page of your well-known journal, i\^(f?//^;'^, is: 

'* To the solid ground 
Of Nature trusts the mind Avhich builds for aye." 

Wordsworth. 

The legend that heads our Society's journal, the 
T/icosophist/\s'. "There is no religion higher than 
Truth." The Lord Buddha, revered as the greatest 
among adepts of the Occult science, when asked by 
the Kalama people how they might know which 
religion was the truest, answered that they 
should believe nothing written or spoken, by any 



EA' GLAND'S WELCOME. 41 

teacher of any epoch, upon mere authority, but 
only when the teaching harmonized with reason, 
and would stand the test of examination. That 
is the attitude which we likewise adopt. If 
the Theosophical Society had come forward 
with a claim of infallibility for its ideas or its 
teachers, discouraging criticism and shirking 
inquiry, it would have been turned out of court on 
its first appearance. But since it has spread from 
city to city and from land to land, until it can now 
count over a hundred branches, it is clearly in 
accordance with the spirit of the age, and meets a 
real want of humanity. It has an unmistakeable 
vitality, and has attained a development that pre- 
sages a great future for the movement. Month 
after month fresh branches spring up, and new lines 
of usefulness open out. Four days ago I organized, 
in the very stronghold of Presbyterian intolerance, 
the " Scottish Theosophical Society," and after a 
Lecture at Edinburgh one of the leading clergymen 
of the city took my hand in brotherly kindness, 
declaring that the sentiments I had just expressed 
to my audience were identical with those he 
was wont to preach from his pulpit. So, too, 
the freethinking journalists of Paris have de- 
clared our Society's cardinal idea of fraternal 
concert between the best thinkers and truest 
men of all races for research after the funda- 
mental facts of human existence, to be in strict 
harmony^with the principles of French republican- 
ism ; while, at the same time, the reactionary 



42 ENGLAND'S WELCOME. 

Ultramontanes of the Royalist party have, in their 
organ, Le Defcnseiir, bidden us a hearty welcome 
as to those who may save France from the moral 
decay brought about by crass materialism. Pass- 
ing on to the Orient, you have only to consult the 
files of the native press of India and of Ceylon, to 
discover how enthusiastically the masses of those 
ancient countries speak of our Society and its 
work. In these Western communities most people 
regard us as innovators, trying to " float " a new 
delusion; but throughout the East it is accounted the 
chief merit of Theosophy that its teachings are 
but the uncoloured recapitulation of the grand philo- 
sophy taught to Egypt and Greece by their holy 
sages, and embalmed in their ancestral literature. 
Seven years ago scarcely a Hindu college graduate 
dared to confess a feeling of respect for the national 
religious philosophy ; now the imported Western 
scepticism is going out of fashion, and Indian and 
Sinhalese youth are joining our Society, and 
beginning to emulate the piety, temperance, 
honesty and truthfulness of their noble forefathers. 
Within the past twelvemonth these cherished young 
colleagues have founded, under our auspices, twenty- 
seven schools and colleges for Sanskrit teaching, 
have published books, have founded Theosophical 
journals, and have organized religious classes or Sun- 
day schools in various parts of the Indian Peninsula 
and of Ceylon. The movement has spread 
to the United States, despite the absence of its 
Founders, since 1878, in the East. Within the 



ENGLAND'S WELCOME. 43 

past year, new branches have been formed, a Theo- 
sophicaljournalhas been started, other charters have 
been appHed for, a central governing Committee or 
Board has been organized,and two delegates of note — 
one,an author and journalist attached to the editorial 
staff of an influential New York paper, the other, a 
man of scientific repute, and a college professor — 
have come across the Atlantic to meet the Founders 
and to arrange for future Theosophical work in 
America. Within the next two days, I go to Germany 
to hold a conference of certain of the ablest philoso- 
phical writers of the day, and to launch the bark 
of Theosophy upon the deep sea of German thought. 
The seed planted by Mme. Blavatsky and my- 
self at New York in 1875, when we organized 
the Society, is fast growing into a banyan tree, whose 
roots are striking dow^n into the subsoil of human 
nature, and whose shade will one day be broad anci 
dense enough to shelter a multitude of students of 
the Problem of Life. And let me here candidly 
and gratefully confess how much of our success in 
English-speaking countries is due to the world- 
wide circulation attained by The Occtdt World and 
Esoteric Bitddhisin, those tw^o profoundly interesting 
and valuable books of our eminent colleague, Mr. 
A. P. Sinnett. Here, in the land and city of his 
birth, I thank that loyal friend and true-hearted 
Englishman, whose courageous and unselfish advo- 
cacy of a discovered truth is — well, w4iat one always 
expects from an Englishman of that sort ! 

As mine is the task of giving you a historical re- 



44 ENGLAND'S WELCOME. 

trospect, I must briefly note what the Theosophical 
Society has accomplished under each of the three 
heads of work it sets itself First, as to the question 
of forming the nucleus of a Brotherhood of 
Humanity. We have effected much in this direc- 
tion ; much of a visible and practical character. 
Upon our rolls are inscribed the names of some 
thousands of men and women who represent 
many races and most of the great creeds. Our 
Rules positively prohibit the discussion, at our 
meetings, of questions likely to stir up strife 
about religion, caste, race, and politics. All such 
discordant issues are left outside our threshold. 
We meet as friends, whose declared and only pur- 
pose is to exchange ideas and to help each other to 
get at the truth. The wisest are our Theosophical 
aristocracy. The rich man is not esteemed in our 
Society for his wealth, nor the poor man despised 
for his poverty. The tie of a common interior 
nature makes us see and know each other 
as brethren in Theosophy. The antagonism 
of sex is unknown among us : we are not 
concerned as to the relative supremacy of man or 
woman, the test of excellence is the capacity of 
their respective minds ; the brightest is the 
most respected, and the highest place in our 
esteem is occupied by the one most devoted 
to the cause of Theosophy, and who best illus- 
trates in daily conduct its lofty ideal. It was 
a sight to behold with joy when, at the celebration 
of the Society's eighth anniversary, at Madras in 



ENGLAND'S WELCOME, 45 

December last, more than one hundred delegates — 
Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Mussulmans 
and Agnostics — were gathered together from the 
four quarters of the globe to report the progress of 
the movement in their several countries, and to bring 
the vows of fealty from their various branches. 
The possibility of a practical confraternity upon 
the basis of mutual reciprocity and kindly tolerance 
was then and there triumphantly proved. 

We then saw that, while it is impossible, save in 
Utopia, to hope for a real brotherly union between 
nations or communities upon the external side of 
human nature, yet this may be effected quite easily 
upon the plane of the inner and nobler self 

Secondly, as to the study of the ancient philoso- 
phies and religions. Here, too, great results have 
been achieved. It would be vain to search the mysti- 
cal writings of modern times for so great a body ot 
valuable practical teaching upon these questions as 
the still meagre and budding Theosophical literature 
already offers. I venture to say, for example, that 
there can be found in no Western author so many 
lucid expositions of occult philosophy and meta- 
physics as have been given recently in the Theo- 
sophical circles of London and Paris by our 
gifted and beloved young Brahman colleague, Mr. 
Mohini, who sits beside me on this platform. This 
lineal descendant of the Raja Rammohun Roy has 
shown himself worthy of that grandsire whose 
learning and elevated spirituality of character are 
remembered in England, as well as in India, to this 



46 ENGLAND'S WELCOME. 

day, with deep affection. Besides the exegetical 
works of Mr. Sinnett, there is Madame Blavatsky's 
encyclopaedic Isis Unveiled, now in its seventh 
edition, which traverses a vast domain of science 
and rehgion, and there are various pamphlets by 
different authors, all relating to the Asiatic side of 
the subject. On the side of Esoteric Christianity 
and the Hermetic Doctrine, the eloquent work of 
Dr. Anna Kingsford and Mr. Edward Maitland, 
The Pcj'fect Waj', will be reckoned among the great 
books of the century. The TJieosopJiist, a monthly 
magazine, issued at the Society's headquarters at 
Madras,* and now in its fifth volume, has among 
its contributors some of the ablest educated Hindus 
living, who during the past five years have been 
expounding their national Sanskrit literature. 

Thirdly, and lastly, as to researches into the 
occult side of Nature and of Man. What the 
mystical writers of Greece and Rome, of Germany, 
France, Italy, and England, had hinted at in this 
direction ; what was figured in the pictographs of 
Egypt, in the sculptures of Nineveh and of Central 
and South America, in the cylinders, bricks, and 
stones of Babylonia and of other countries ; what 
was embalmed though masked in folk-lore, 
legend, saga, and national customs, has been 
verified and corroborated by the individual re- 
searches of certain of our members. While the 
Christians are sitting almost speechless, unable 

* Mr. George Redway, the publisher of the present vokime, is the 
London agent. 



ENGLAND'S WELCOME. 47 

to confute the dogmatic assertion of the infidel 
biologist, that human consciousness isimpossibleout- 
side the physical organism, and that man is extinct 
when it is dissolved, we Theosophists have experi- 
mentally proved its utter falsity. We have proved 
it by projecting ourselves out of the body, with the 
retention of full consciousness and volition, acling 
and observing as readily as any of us can do in his 
fleshy encasement. We liave proved that there 
is an inner range of percipient faculties, more acute, 
and mAich more unerring, than " the five gateways " 
of the outer body. We have verified the exist- 
ence of two sublimer states of matter than the form 
we are told about by our fashionable scientific 
authorities. The " Unseen Universe," or subjective 
world, of Professors Balfour Stewart and Tait has 
ceased to have for us the aspect of a hypothesis, 
for this terra incognita, this Polar circle of official 
science, has been explored by us, with the adepts 
of the East as our guides and teachers. Some of 
my colleagues in the Theosophical Society so revere 
the characters of these living Masters as to think 
it almost a crime that I should profane their secret 
by naming them to a mixed audience. But I 
am imbued with the American, rather than with 
the Oriental feeling as to such matters. I know 
as a fact that these grand men are not to be moved 
as to their inner selves by anything, good or ill, 
that may be said of them : the reviler's abuse but 
recoils upon himself, as, in the Eastern proverb, the 
dust blows back into the eyes of the fool who throws 



48 ENGLAND'S WELCOME. 

it against the wind. And, as an old student of 
Psychology, I feel the enormous vitality the subject 
derives from the fact that these Masters live as really 
for us as their predecessors did for Apollonius, 
Plato, and Pythagoras ; that they can be seen, and 
conversed with, as they have been seen and con- 
versed with by many among us ; and that they 
furnish in their own persons a tangible, actual ideal 
of a hitherto unsuspected human perfectibility. 
And so realising, I shall, until they command me to 
keep silence, continue to bear testimony to their 
existence, to their benevolent philanthropy, to their 
angelic qualities, mental and moral. To them, 
through their agent, Madame Blavatsky, I owe the 
first glimpse of the true light. By thenri I was 
taught to detect its Sflow under the exoteric masks 
of the world's various faiths, and to know it for 
their silvery psychic spark. They taught me to see 
that the colour of my brother man, his dress, his 
formal creed, his social prejudices, were but the 
results of his external environment, and but tinted, 
without obstructing the inner shining of the im- 
mortal Ego: as the cathedral panes give for the 
watcher outside their glowing hues to the light that 
burns in the chancel and along the aisles. To them 
my life-long fealty is pledged. My earnest hope -is 
that I may not fail in my duty ; my chief desire 
that, through the extension of the Theosophical 
Society, I may succeed in causing hundreds as 
hungry as myself after spiritual truth to know of 
their existence and partake of their teaching. 



THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 
AND ITS AIMS.^ 



When a new Society asks a hearing of the world 
it is sure to be challenged. The public has that 
vested right, and none but fools will object to its 
exercise. Infallibility is out of fashion, notwith- 
standing the Roman conclave of July 13th, 1870, 
where, as the Syllabus of the Vatican Council tells 
us, the Holy Ghost sat with the Bishops and judged 
with them. Men now-a-days take nothing on faith ; 
the era of inquiry and proof has come. 

The Theosophical Society expects no exemption 
from the rule ; has asked none ; and my presence 
before this great audience, so soon after the arrival 
in India of our Committee, shows our readiness to 
give a reason for its existence. We believe it was a 
necessary outgrowth of the century. I hope to 
show you that the hour demanded its coming, and 
that it was not born before its appointed time. 

Our society points to four years of activity as 
one proof that there was room for it in the world. 
And this activity, please observe, was not in the 

* An Address delivered at the Framji Cowasji Hall, Bombay, 

23id March, 1879. 
D 



So THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 

midst of friendly environments, with no one to 
question or oppose, but in the enemy's country, with 
foes all about, public sentiment hostile, the press 
scornful and relentless, traitors working with honest 
opponents to break up our organization and neutra- 
lize our labours. Occupying, as most of us did, 
positions of some influence, we have had to suffer, in 
ways that will suggest themselves to each of you, 
for the privilege of free speech. While the press 
has lampooned us, in writing and pictorial carica- 
tures, by the clergy we have been denounced as the 
children of Satan, doomed to eternal damnation 
along with the wretched " Heathen." 

We throve on opposition. The more we were 
abused, the greater interest was created to know 
what the Theosophical Society really was, how 
strong, and what were its aims? These questions, 
which have been put to us in every possible varia- 
tion since our arrival here, we answered, without 
concealment or equivocation, face to face, eye to 
eye. We had nothing to be ashamed of, whether 
in doctrine, motive, or deed, and so we spoke — and 
now speak — with the boldness of one who loves the 
truth and hates a lie. 

All this discussion, carried on for months, even 
years, in journals of world-wide circulation, drew to 
us large nun^bers of sympathizers. Scattered 
throughout America and Europe were men and 
women of intelligence, influence, courage, who had 
long been interested in the topics to which we 
applied ourselves, and who needed only such a ral- 



AND ITS AIMS. 51 

lying-point as our society offered, to combine their 
strength. So they joined us, cheering us by their 
activity of deed no less than by their friendliness 
of word. A branch society sprang up in England, 
under the presidency of a barrister of the highest 
capabilities, and the conjoint direction of a Univer- 
sity professor, and of medical and other professional 
men. Other branches were formed in Russia, 
France, Greece, and elsewhere. One is now form- 
ing in Ceylon. Our membership increased to thou- 
sands. We received as brothers, with equal 
cordiality, Hindus, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists, Jews, 
and free-thinking Christians. At different times 
the press has described us as specially represent- 
ing each of those sects ; a proof, certainly, of our 
strict impartiality and the general resemblance all 
these great religions have to each other at their 
roots. There was room for all upon our platform, 
and none need jostle his neighbour. What that 
platform is, will be made clear before I have done 
speaking. 

Believing it good generalship to force the fight- 
ing when one feels sure of his supports, we not only 
struck blow for blow at our antagonists, but con- 
trived more than once to put them on the defen- 
sive. Often without obtruding ourselves upon 
public notice, we aroused an interest in everything 
related to the East. Oriental science, literature, 
chronology, tradition, superstitions, magic and 
spiritualism, afforded themes for our allies to speak 
and write upon, throughout the two parts of 



52 THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 

Christendom. Those who have seen the Western 
journal and periodical literature during the past 
four or five years, must have been struck with the 
apparently sudden growth of a deep interest in 
such matters. They will also have noticed the in- 
creased number of books published on Oriental sub- 
jects. How much of that activityis traceable directly 
and indirectly to the Theosophical Society, we, only, 
know who have been in the thick of the fighting. 

We have been asked, scores of times, why our 
Society has established as yet no periodical, nor 
issued any volumes of Reports. Our answer is that a 
wider activity could be achieved by utilizing presses 
already established. We have thus reached mil- 
lions of readers, where, through any special organ 
of our own, we might only have caught the eye and 
provoked the thought of a few thousands. How 
many in India, think you, have read about the visit 
of our Committee and its objects ? and how many 
would have done so if we had depended upon a 
journal of our own ? Papers in English and the 
several vernacular tongues have been sent us, and 
letters from the extreme North and the extreme 
South have come to us, from those wdio have an 
interest in our work. It has been remarked at the 
West that no Society has, w^ithin so short a time, 
been talked about in so many different countries 
as ours. We gratefully accept the fact as proof 
that we are welcomed to a standing-room in the 
arena of the century. 

And now what is the Theosophical Society, and 



AND ITS AIMS. 53 

what are its aims ? How much appears upon the 
surface, and how much is concealed ? What is the 
plan of work ? How is the public to be benefited 
by the Society, and is mutual co-operation practic- 
able ? What attitude do we assume towards re- 
ligious beliefs, and what ideas, if any, does the 
Society hold about God and his government ? Do 
we believe in the immortality of the human soul, 
and, if so, on what grounds ? What importance 
do we attach to the study of the occult sciences, so 
called? What use has been made, by many or few 
of our Fellows, of any knowledge of those sciences? 
To what highest good do we aspire, here or here- 
after ? What are our ideas of the next world ? 
These questions j^// have come here to ask, / to 
answer. I have copied them from written docu- 
ments, handed to me since this address was an- 
nounced by the native committee. And here are 
others propounded by one who wishes to join us: — 
On one's becoming a member, is any course pre- 
scribed for him to follow with a view to his con- 
tinual progression and the acquisition of mastery 
over his baser nature ? What constitutes the differ- 
ence between the degrees in the Society ? Will 
instruction be imparted to individual members 
or groups, on what subjects, and how often ? 
Webster defines Theosophy as " a direct as 
distinguished from a revealed knowledge of God, 
supposed to be attained by extraordinary illum- 
ination, especially a direct insight into the pro- 
cesses of the Divine mind and the interior rela- 



54 THE THEOSOPHTCAL SOCIETY 

tions of the Divine nature." How far does 
this agree with the doctrines of the Theosophical 
Society ? Is a member of the Arya, Brahmo, or 
Prarthana Samaj debarred from joining it, or will 
his joining affect his position in relation to the 
social rules and duties of his caste ? How much 
time would be required to become proficient in a 
degree ? Will any library be established and ac- 
cessible to the Fellows ? Will there be social 
gatherings to discuss Oriental philosophy and 
kindred subjects ? 

We have here seventeen inquiries, covering 
ground enough for thirty-four lectures, but I will 
attempt to cursorily glance at all in the hour 
at my disposal. All, except those of a strictly 
personal character, have been treated at great length 
and with signal ability by Mme. H. P. Blavatsky, 
Corresponding Secretary of our Society, in her " Isis 
Unveiled," a work which a well-known London jour- 
nal. Public Opinion, styled " a stupendous monu- 
ment of human industry," and which the Neiv 
Yoi'k Herald considered, " one of the great achieve- 
ments of our century." Those who care to really 
sound this question of the relative supremacy of 
ancient and modern science and religion can easily 
do so, as the work is to be had of our booksellers. 

But, to begin with our answers, I affirm then 
that everything essential, as regards principles, 
recommendations and ideas, appears upon the sur- 
face of our 'Society, and nothing is concealed that 
sJionld be made known. We do not say one thing 



AND ITS AIMS, 55 

and mean another. We have no mental reserva- 
tions — we resort to no equivocations. What we 
believe, we say — always and everywhere. If we 
have survived all the battles through which we have 
passed ; if, after a four years' struggle against 
obstacles, in the very heart and stronghold of 
Christendom, we are a strong, compact, successful 
Society, daily increasing in influence, having daily 
accessions of able coadjutors ; if, at this juncture, 
our outposts are entrenched in the most widely 
separated countries, and garrisoned by men of the 
most diverse speech, complexion, and ancestry ; if 
here, upon the threshold of Aryavarta, we find our 
hands clasped with fraternal warmth by the Hindu, 
the Parsi, the Jain, and the Buddhist ; it is because 
we have not feared to speak the truth at any cost. 

When our Society was organised — at New York 
in 1875 — the very first section of the bye-laws 
adopted, after fixing upon our corporate title, 
affirmed that the object of the Society was to 
obtain knowledge of all the laws of nature. This 
covers the whole range of natural phenomena, and 
everything that concerns mankind and his environ- 
ments. The inaugural address of the President was 
delivered, November 17th, 1875, and in it, after 
attempting a comparison of our Society with the 
neoplatonists and theurgists of ancient Alexandria, 
the fire -philosophers of the middle ages, and the 
ancient and modern spiritualists, and finding no 
exact parallel, I said : " We are neither of these, 
but simply investigators of earnest purpose and 



56 THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 

unbiassed mind, who study all things, prove all 
things, and hold fast to that which is good. We 
seek, inquire, reject nothing without cause, accept 
nothing without proof: we are students, not 
teachers." Does not this utterance of 1875 answer 
most of the questions of 1879 ? 

The Society has its secrets, nevertheless; but they 
harm no one. Composed, as we are, of people who 
live at the two extremities of the earth, and who 
speak different tongues, we have the same necessity 
as Freemasons for some means of mutual identi- 
fication, in special cases. These are afforded by 
certain signs and tokens which, of course, are 
withheld from strangers, and are changed as required. 
Again, operating, as we do, mainly in Christian 
countries, in some of which (as in France, Spain, 
and Russia, for instance) religious intolerance pre- 
vails, the corporate perpetuity of our branches 
would be imperilled by allowing our membership to 
be known, and our plans for religious and scientific 
agitation might be baffled by exposing them. Our 
existence threatens no Government, feeds no 
political cabal, attacks no pillar of social order. 
We do not concern ourselves in the least with 
affairs of State, nor lay impious hands upon the 
conjugal, filial, or parental relation. We would 
not admit man or woman who was in rebellion 
against the existing laws or government of his or 
her country, or engaged in plots and conspiracies 
against the public peace and safety. In New York 
we expelled one of our most active charter officers. 



AND ITS ATMS. 57 

an Englishman — one of the founders of the Society, 
in fact — because he allowed himself to be mixed up 
with a gang of French Communist refugees in their 
wicked conspiracies. Judge for yourselves, there- 
fore, how malicious and unfounded are the libels that 
have been circulated in this country as to our being 
political spies, and, most ridiculous of all, Russian 
spies ! The only Russian in our party became a 
citizen of the United States of America last July, 
an act unprecedented among Russian women, 
and her book, " Isis Unveiled," already referred 
to, is not allowed to cross the frontiers. Nor 
would we admit into our fellowship any one 
who taught irreverence to parents or immorality 
to husbands or wives. Nor have we any room 
for the drunkard or the debauchee. If Theo- 
sophy did not make men better, purer, wiser, 
more useful to themselves and to society, 
then this organisation of ours had better never 
been born. That it lives, and Is respected 
even by those who cannot sympathise with 
its Ideas, is evidence of its beneficent character. 
This answers one of the above questions, and 
I have also shown you that our plan of work 
is to employ existing agencies to create an 
interest in Eastern philosophies and religions, 
and make the Press our helper, even when 
it fancies it is killing us off with its fine sarcasm or 
abuse. 

And now, we are asked, what attitude do we 
hold to religious beliefs, and what do we believe as 



58 THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 

to God and his government? The Society, I have 
already told you, is no Propaganda, formed to dis- 
seminate fixed dogmas ; therefore, as a society, it 
has no creed to offer for the world's acceptance. 
It recognises the great philosophical principle that 
while there is but one Absolute Truth, the differ- 
ences among men only mark their respective appre- 
hensions of that Truth. It is not for me to say to 
you what this Absolute Truth is. If I were cap- 
able of doing so, then (for the first time since the 
world began) there would have appeared an infal- 
lible, omniscient human mind upon earth. There 
is no educated sectarian so bigoted that when you 
calmly discuss with him the bases of his faith, he 
will not admit that its Founder was not equal to 
his one Supreme God in omniscience and other 
attributes. The Parsi will not claim it for Zoroas- 
ter, the Buddhist for Sakya-Muni, the Jain for 
Parasnatha, the Jew for Moses, the Mohammedan 
for the Prophet of Islam, nor the Hindu for any of 
the Rishis, who 

"Above all fleshly, worldly feelings soared." 

Revere his spiritual intermediator and teacher as 
either of these may, he will only claim that, in his 
opinion, more of this Absolute Truth flowed from 
Heaven to Earth through this particular channel, 
this minor god, if you will, than through any other. 
And to settle these disputes, all the spilt blood of 
religious wars has been shed. Then why should 
we accord to these Christian missionaries who 
have so maligned us to you, that which we refuse to 



AND ITS AIMS. 



59 



other people ? Why should we, as a society, accept 
Jesus rather than Vasishta, Gautama or Zoroaster? 
Far be it from me to scoff at the simple faith of 
those thousands of Christians who have pictured to 
themselves a Deity all love and beneficence, and 
who exemplify in their lives and conversation all 
that is beautiful in human nature. The recollection 
of my nearest and dearest ones, and of those others 
whom I have known from boyhood up, in different 
lands and various social conditions, would stop my 
mouth were I so unjust and cruel. I myself come 
from a line of ancestors who have left behind them 
historical records of their unselfish and courageous 
devotion to Christianity. Just as I have left my 
home and business and friends, to come to India 
to search after the Parabrahma of primitive religions, 
so, in 1635, one of my ancestors left his home in 
England, to seek in the savage wilderness of America 
that freedom to worship the Jewish Jehovah which 
he could not have in England under the Restoration. 
But, as the author of "Isis" remarks, these people 
would have been equally good in any other religious 
sect ; they are better than their creed : goodness, 
virtue, equity, are congenital with them. 

But when we have shown in what we do not be- 
lieve, we have to say what is our faith. We do be- 
lieve in the immortality of the human spirit * — the 
" we " meaning all the representative Theosophists 
whose minds have been opened to me. In truth, 
there is not much attraction in our Society for these 
* The seventh principle in man— the Atma of the Hindus, 



6o THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 

who persistently deny this assumption, for what 
advantage is there in studying all those primitive, 
sublime utterances of the Vedas, the Zend Avesta, 
the Tripitikas, about the " soul" and future life, if a 
man is incapable of realizing the idea of a spiritual 
self or an Universal Principle at all ? Let such an 
one take his balances and weigh and count over 
and christen the motes of Nature's dust-heap, and 
get ribbons for catching a new bug, and titles for 
impaling a new beetle. He will die happy in the 
thought that his name, though Latinized or Hellen- 
ized past recognition, will be transmitted to pos- 
terity in connexion with the solar refrangibility of 
the cucumber, or some other discovery of equally 
momentous importance. 

The study of occult science has a twofold value. 
First, that of teaching us that there is a teeming 
world of Force within this teeming visible world 
of Phenomena ; and, second, in stimulating the 
student to acquire, by self-discipline and education, 
a knowledge of his psychic powers and the ability 
to employ them. How appropriate is the term 
' occult science," when applied to the careful ob- 
servation of the phenomena of force, is apparent 
when we read the confessions of scientific leaders 
as to the limitation of their positive knowledge. 
" We have not succeeded," says Professor Balfour 
Stewart, " in solving the problem as to the nature 
of life, but have only driven the difficulty into a 
borderland of thick darkness, into which the light 
of knowledge ( Western knowledge, he should say) 



AND ITS AIMS. 6i 

has not yet been able to penetrate."* Says Le 
Conte, " Creation or destruction of matter, increase 
or diminution of matter, lies beyond the domain of 
science." f And even Huxley ,J the High Pontiff 

regnant of materialism, confesses " it is also, in 

strictness, true that we know nothing about the 
.composition of any body whatever, as it is." 

Did time permit, I might cite to you many 
similar utterances from the mouths of the most 
worshipped biologists and philosophers who happen 
at the moment to have the stage of notoriety to 
themselves. You cannot open a book on chemis- 
try, physiology, or hygiene, without stumbling upon 
admissions that there are fathomless abysses in all 
modern science. Pere Felix, the great Catholic 
orator of France, taunted the Academy by saying 
that they found an abyss even in a grain of sand. 
Who, then, can tell us of the nature of life, the 
cause of its phenomena, the qualities of the inner 
man? Who guards the keys of the secret chamber, 
and where do they hang ? What dragons lie in 
the path ? America cannot tell us, Europe cannot 
— for we have questioned both. But in the Western 
libraries we found old books which tell us that in 
olden times there was a class of men, who had dis- 

* '* The Conservation of Energy," by Balfour Stewart, LL.D., 
F.R. S., Professor of Natural Philosophy at the Owens' College, 
Manchester (p. 163). 

t "Correlation of Vital with Chemical and Physical Forces," 
revised for Dr. Stewart's book, stipra (see page 171). 

X ••On the Physical Basis of Life." By Thomas H. Huxley, 
LL.D., F.R.S. 



62 THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 

covered these secrets, had interrogated nature be- 
hind her veil. These men lived in the lands now 
called Tibet, India, Persia, Chaldea, Egypt, and 
Greece. We find traces of them even in the frae- 
mentary remains of the sacred literature of Mexico 
and Peru. And we have been told that this sacred 
science is not extinct, but still survives, and is 
practised by men who carefully guard their know- 
ledge from profane hands. Some of us have even 
had the inestimable good fortune to meet with such 
wonder-workers and tosee their experiments. So we 
have come in quest of the places and opportunity 
to learn for our own benefit and that of humanity, 
what occult law of nature can be brought out of Dr. 
Stewart's "borderland of darkness " into the lighted 
and odoriferous class-rooms of Western Science. 

To what highest good do we aspire ? What is 
the highest good, but to know something of man 
and his powers, to discover the best means to 
benefit humanity — physically, morally, spiritually ? 
To this we aspire : can our interrogator conceive of 
a nobler ambition ? In common with all thinkinsr 
people we have, of course, our individual specula- 
tions about that infinite and awful something which 
Anglo-Saxons call God ; but, as a Society, we say, 
with Pope — 

" Know, then, thyself; presume not God to scan ; 
The proper study of mankind is Man." 

As to our ideas of the next world, the aid of 
metaphysics would have to be invoked to answer 
the question. Suffice it that we do not fancy the 



AND ITS AIMS. 63 

other world to be gross like this ; lighted by the 
same solar vibrations, filled with such houses, such 
Framji Cowasji Halls, as ours ! Most men are apt 
to brutalize the next world in trying to construct 
a tangible idea for the mind to rest upon. The 
Heaven of Milton, which, as Professor Huxley ob- 
serves, is the one believed in by Christians and not 
at all that of any Biblical authority — is a place of 
shining stairs, golden pavements, and bejewelled 
thrones, on which, without an inch of cushion to 
mitigate their metallic hardness, the redeemed saints 
sit for ever and ever singing hymns to the accom- 
paniment of the harp. So the Moslem Paradise 
teems with physical delights, and even the "Summer 
Land " of our Western Spiritualists has been 
sketched, mapped out and described by all the re- 
cent authorities, from Andrew Jackson Davis 
downward. 

Is it not enough to conceive of a future state of 
existence corresponding with the new necessities 
of the monad that has passed through and out of the 
cycle of objective matter and become a subjective 
entity? Can we not realise a life apart from the use of 
pots and ladles, easy chairs and mosquito curtains? 
Even the Jivan-Mukta, or soul emancipated, while 
living in this world, loses all sense of relationship 
to it and its grossness. How much more perfect 
the contrast, then, between our narrow physical life 
and the Mukiatma, or soul universalized — the soul 
having sympathies with the Universal Good, True, 
Ji:st, and being absorbed in Universal Love ! Let 



64 7HE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 

us not drown ourselves in oceans of vague meta- 
physical speculation, in trying to drag the next 
sphere down to this, but rather strive to elevate 
our present plane of matter, so that one end of it 
may climb to some sort of proximity to the higher 
realm of spirit. 

What an important question is this which heads 
the second series that I read to you ! How can one 
be helped to acquire mastery over his baser nature? 
Mighty problem I — how change the brute into the 
angel ? Why ask for the obvious answer to so 
simple a question ? Does my friend imagine there 
is more than one way in which it can be done ? 
Can any other but one's own self effect this purifi- 
cation, this splendid conquest, in comparison with 
whose glory all the greatest victories of war sink 
into contemptible insignificance? There must be, 
first, the belief that this conquest is possible ; then, 
knowledge of the method ; then, practice. Men 
only passively animal, become brutal from ignor- 
ance of the consequences of the first downward 
step. So, too, they fail to become god-like because 
of their ignorance of the potentiality of effort. 
Certainly one can never improve himself who is 
satisfied with his present circumstances. The re- 
former is of necessity a discontented man — discon- 
tented with w^hat pleases common souls ; striving 
after something better. Self-reform exacts the 
same temperament. A man who thinks w^ell of his 
vices, his prejudices, his superstitions, his habits, 
his physical, mental, moral state, is in no mood to 



AND ITS AIMS. 65 

begin to climb the high ladder that reaches from 
the world of his littleness to a broader one. He 
had better roll over in his mire, and dismiss Theo- 
sophy with signs of impatience. 

Great results are achieved by achieving little 
ones in turn ; great armies may be beaten in detail 
by an inferior force ; constant dripping of little 
water-drops wears away the hardest rock. You 
and I are so many aggregations of good and bad 
qualities. If we wish to better our characters, in- 
crease our capabilities, strengthen our will-power, 
we must begin with small things and pass to greater 
ones. Friend, do you want to control the hidden 
forces of Nature and rule in her domain as a kin<7- 
consort ? Then begin with the first pettiness, the 
smallest flaw you can find in yourself, and remove 
that. It may be a mean vanity, a jealousy of some 
one's success, a strong predilection or a strong 
antipathy for some one thing, person, caste ; or a 
supercilious self-sufficiency that prevents your form- 
ing a fair judgment of other men's countries, food, 
dress, customs, or ideas ; or an inordinate fondness 
for something you eat, drink, or amuse yourself 
with. It matters not ; if it is a blemish, if it stands 
in the way of your perfect and absolute enfran- 
chisement from the rule of this sensuous world, 
" pluck it out and cast it from thee." This done, 
you may pass on. 

You understand now, do you not, the meaning 
of the various sections and degrees of our Theoso- 
phical curriculum ? We welcome most heartily 

£ 



66 THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 

across our threshold every man or woman, of ascer- 
tained respectable character and professed sincerity 
of purpose, who wishes to study the ancient philo- 
sophies. They are on probation. If true The- 
osophists at bottom, they will show it by deeds not 
words. If not, they will soon go back to their 
old friends and surroundings, apologizing for hav- 
ino-even thouMit of doing different from themselves. 
And as one who brings peace-offerings in his hand, 
they will try to do some meanness to us, who only 
took them at their word and thought them better 
than they proved to be. I know this is true, for 
we have had experience — even in India. 

I must here clear up one point which some pro- 
fess to be in doubt about after reading a certain 
circular issued by our Society. That circular states 
that for a Fellow to reach the highest degree of 
our highest section, he must have become " freed 
from all exacting obligations to country, society, 
and family," he must adopt a life of strict chastity. 
I have been asked whether no one could become a 
thorough Theosophist without relinquishing the 
marriage relation. Now our circular makes no 
such assertion. A man may be a most zealous, 
useful, and respected Fellow, and yet be a patriot, 
a public official, and a husband. Our highest 
section is composed of men who have retired from 
active life to spend their remaining days in seclu- 
sion, study, and spiritual perfection. You have 
your married priests, and your sanyasis and yogis. 
So we have our visible, active men, seen in the 



AND ITS ATAIS. 67 

world, mixed np In its concerns, and a part of it ; 
and we have our unseen, but none the less active, 
adepts — proficients in science, physical and occult 
— masters of philosophy and metaphysics — who 
benefit mankind without their hand being ever so 
much as suspected. Though I am ostensibly Pre- 
sident of the whole Theosophical Society, yet I am 
less than the least of these Emancipated Ones, 
and not yet worthy to enter this highest section. 

It is evident from the foregoing that there is 
room in our Society for all earnest, unbigoted 
persons and groups of such persons now working 
disunitedly. Divided, they are comparatively 
powerless to do much ; united^ they would make a 
strength to be felt by the reactionists. Remember 
the Roman /^j'j'r^i', my friends, and put that emblem 
up over the door of every temple. My own country, 
the Great Republic of the West, has this motto : 
E Pliiribus Unuin — one out of many, one country 
out of many smaller States. Just so it might be 
one National Samaj of Aryavarta, out of a shoal of 
local societies. That is the plan of our Theosophi- 
cal Society; we have various branches, but one cen- 
tral guiding authority, and surely there are no 
greater differences between you here than there 
are between the red, brown, black, yellow and 
white men who call themselves Theosophists, the 
w^orld over. 

The relations of a man to his country and his 
caste are, it appears to me, quite distinct from 
his relations to the study of natural law, of philology, 



68 THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 

of philosophy, and of esoteric science. Your brown 
faces and Oriental costumes show me, even without 
the fact that this audience understands the language 
I speak, the authors I cite, and the thoughts I 
utter, that education has no caste, colour, creed, or 
nativity. Why, then, ask if one must adopt a 
certain dress or put himself in a certain chair, or 
before a certain dish of food, to study your fore- 
fathers' philosophy ? Here am I, with a white skin, 
an European dress, and a life-experience coloured 
and shaped after the notions of the section, society, 
and class in which my parents brought me up. 
When I began to ponder over this magnificent 
Eastern philosophy, I was not told that I must 
dress in this way or that, or refrain from doing this, 
that or the other thing, not vitally injurious, — such as 
the drinking of liquors and indulgence in sensuality. 
I w^as simply shown the path, my way was pointed 
out, and I was left to my own choice. Well, like all 
men of the world, I had certain' bad habits, bad 
ways of thinking, foolish ways of living. I put an 
inordinate value upon things really worthless, 
and undervalued things really important. I was 
looking at things through bad spectacles. After a 
while, I discovered this myself, and, as I was in 
dead earnest and determined to succeed or die in 
the attempt, I began to reform myself I had been 
a moderate drinker of wines after the Western 
fashion ; I gave them up. I had been a frequenter 
of clubs, theatres, social parties, race-courses, and 
other places, wherein men of the world vainly seek 



AND ITS AIMS. 69 

contentment and pleasure. I gave them all up ; 
not grudgingly, not looking back at them with 
regret, but as one flings from him some worthless 
plaything when its worthlessness becomes known 
to him. You will, perhaps, pardon the employment 
of my personal experience as the illustration of the 
moment, in view of the fact that it is the only one 
which, without breach of confidence, I can use to 
answer the interrogatory that has been put to me. 

If India is to be regenerated, it must be by 
Hindus, who can rise above their castes and every 
other reactionary influence, and give good example 
as well as good advice. Useless to gather into 
Samajes, and talk prettily of reform, and print 
translations and commentaries, if the Samajists are 
to relapse into customs they abhor in their hearts, 
and observe ceremonies that to them are but super- 
stitions, and throw all their enlightenment to the 
dogs. Useless for native gentlemen to sit at the 
tables of Europeans, in apparent cordial equality, 
if they have not the moral courage to break bread 
with them in their own houses. Not of such stuff 
are the saviours of nations made. 

But we will pass on to the next question. No 
time can be specified for the progress of a Thco- 
sophist from one stage to another. Some would take 
years, where others would only require days, to reach 
a given result. We are asked if any library will be 
established by us ? I hope and trust so. A nucleus 
already exists; which of you will help to build it up? 
What rich native loves his countr)ancn more than 



70 THE THEOSOPFIICAL SOCIETY 

money? Or is it 3'our notion that the Indians 
should do nothing, and the strangers all ? We are 
willing to give even our lives, if need be, to this 
cause ; what more will any of you give ? 

Yes, there will be social gatherings to discuss our 
congenial themes. In point of fact, there are such 
already, for every Wednesday and Sunday evening, 
since our arrival at Bombay, we have held a sort of 
dttrbar^ or reception, at our bungalow. There we 
shall be happy to see all — even spies — who care to 
see us, and those who live out of the city can always 
communicate with us by letter. Being people who 
try to take a practical view of things, and dis- 
posed to work rather than talk, we have set our 
minds to accomplish two things. We want to per- 
suade the most learned native scholars — such men, 
for instance, as the distinguished Sanskrit Professor 
of Elphinstone College, who occupies the chair of 
this meeting, and the equally distinguished Presi- 
dent of the Pali and Sanskrit College of Ceylon, 
and the eminent Parsi scholar, Mr. Cama, who also 
honours us with his presence — to translate into 
English the most valuable portions of their respec- 
tive religious and scientific literatures, so that we 
may help to circulate them in Western countries. 
At the same time we wish to aid, as best we can, 
in the extension of non-sectarian education for 
native girls and married women, which we regard 
as the corner-stone of national greatness, and in the 
introduction of cheap and simple machines that can 
be worked by hand labour and that will increase 



AND ITS AIMS. 71 

the comfort and prosperity of our adopted country. 
We have chosen this land for our home, and feel a 
desire to help it and its people in any way practic- 
able, however humble, without meddling with 
its politics, into which, as American citizens, 
we have, as I have remarked, neither the right nor 
inclination to intrude. 

Let me, before leaving this part of our subject, 
make one point very clear. The Theosophical 
Society is no money-making body, nor has it any- 
thing to do, as such, with financial affairs. Its field 
is religion, philosophy, and science, — not politics or 
trade. No one connected with its management 
receives a penny for his services. 

And now, having answered, seriatim, the ques- 
tions embraced in the list, I will pass on to some 
obvious deductions that suggest themselves, and 
then conclude. 

The Indian press have remarked it as a \(tcY 
strange thing that Western people should have 
come here to learn instead of to' teach — as though 
there were nothing in India worth the learning. 
This conveys a sad impression to my mind. It 
makes me realize how completely modern India 
ignores the achievements of ancient Aryavarta. 
It shows how complete is the eclipse of Aryan 
vv^isdom when people from the other side of the globe 
could know more of the essence of Vedic philosophy 
than most of the direct descendants of the Rishis 
themselves. Since we landed on your shores we 
have met hundreds of educated Hindus, Parsis, 



72 THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 

and men of other sects. They have thronged our 
parlours, filled our compound, and gathered about 
us day after day. Out of all these we have found 
few — so few that we might almost reckon them 
upon the fingers — who really know what Aryan, 
Zend, Jain, and Buddhistic philosophies teach. 
There have been scores able to recite slokas, and 
whole puranas and chapters, with accurate accent 
and rhythm; but they merely repeated words without 
understanding : they had not the key to the 
mysteries. I have met those who had seen the 
marvellous phenomena performed by ascetics, and 
amply corroborated all the stories we had heard 
and circulated through the Western press. But 
scarcely one who, having known and seen such 
thinQs, had set himself to work with determination 
to learn the science and explore the adytum of 
nature. In this throng of visitors there was no end 
of students of Mill, of Darwin, of Spencer, of 
Huxley, Tyndall, Bain, Schlegel, Renan, Burnouf. 
Their minds were, 'in some instances, whole arsenals 
of propositions in logic, metaphysics, mathematics, 
and sophistry — all the weapons which reason uses 
against intuition. They could out-wrangle a Cam- 
bridge double-first, and 

*' make the worse appear the better reason." 

They had persuaded themselves into error against 
their own inner consciousness. We have noted, 
and I repeat it, that a larger cluster of acute in- 
tellects we never encountered than this of Bombay. 
Part had become thorough materialists. To them, 



AND ITS AIMS, 73 

as to Balfour Stewart, the Universe seemed "a vast 

physical machine composed of atoms, with 

some sort of medium between them as the machine." 
The apprehension of any sort of a God had died 
out, the feeling of having in them a soul had been 
smothered. With polite incredulity they have 
listened to our tales of phenomena witnessed by 
us, similar to those described in the biography of 
Sankara Acharya and Sakya Muni, sometimes 
unable to repress a smile. They seemed to come 
to us more to observe the lengths and depths to 
which Western credulity can go, than to gather 
corroboration of the narratives contained in their 
own sacred literature. And, I am sorry to say, 
some few, when out of earshot, have made them- 
selves merry over our testimony to the truth of the 
primitive philosophies. 

Another class we have met, with minds full of 
misty speculations which prevented their having 
any clear and defined views of either of the great 
questions of universal human interest. Drawn 
hither by the reveries of Swedenborg and Davis, or 
thither by those of Boehmen and St. Martin, they 
had found no sure ground upon which to plant 
their feet. 

To us strangers, this has been a most instructive 
study, and we have tried to discover the best means 
to combine all this intellectual vis^our, this learning-, 
this mental agitation, upon one objective point. 
We see in this state of things the promise of future 
good results. Here is material for a new school of 



74 THE THEOSOPHICAL ."SOCIETY 

Aryan philosophy which only waits the moulding 
hand of a master. We cannot yet hear his ap- 
proaching footsteps, but he will come ; as the man 
always does come when the hour of destiny strikes. 
He will come, not as a disturber of the peace, but 
as the expounder of principles, the instructor in 
philosophy. He will encourage study, not inflame 
passion. He will scatter blessings, not sorrow. So 
Zoroaster came, so Goutama, so Confucius. O for 
a Hindu great enough in soul, wise enough in 
mind, sublime enough in courage, to prepare the 
way for the coming of this needed Regenerator ! O 
for one Indian of so grand a mould that his appeals 
to his countrymen would fire every heart with a 
noble emulation to revive the glories of that by- 
gone time, when India poured out her people into 
the empty lap of the West, and gave the arts and 
sciences, and even language itself, to the outside 
world ! Are her sons all sunken in selfishness and 
the soft ooze of little things? Has their scramble 
for meagre patronage deadened the noble pride of 
race, and replaced it with an obsequious humility 
tinged with unreasonable hate ? Can they not for- 
give their fellow-countrymen for wearing a different 
style of turban and having a different line of an- 
cestors? Is the love of caste so passionate and 
deep as to make an object of righteous hatred 
every one not in their own social circle ? Ah, 
young men of promise, beloved brothers and com- 
panions, objects of our solicitude and hopes, to see 
and dwell among whom wc have crossed three 



AND ITS AIMS. 75 

oceans and threaded two seas, be Indians /"/'j-^, and 
caste men afterwards if you will. Is there not one 
of you to send the electric spark through this inert 
mass and make it quiver with emotion ? Here lies 
a mighty nation, like a giant benumbed with sloth, 
and no one to arouse its potential energies. Here 
lavish Nature has provided exhaustless resources, 
that combined talent and applied knowledge would 
turn into fabulous national wealth. Here rich 
mines, a fat soil, navigable waters, forests of valu- 
able timber, a multiplicity of natural products that 
might be manufactured at home into portable and 
profitable articles of commerce. All that is lacking 
is a share of that energy and foresight which, in 
two centuries and a half, have transformed the 
United States from a howling wilderness into a 
scene of busy prosperity. In vain the efforts of 
statesmanship to spread the blessings of education 
and promote the industrial arts, if they are not 
seconded by the patriotic endeavours of enlightened 
Young India. Are these great Colleges and 
Universities founded for the sole purpose of turn- 
ing out placemen and dreamers? Have schools 
been opened only to help to hatch debating societies 
and metaphysical training-clubs, where minds that 
should be directing great economical enterprises 
are engaged in splitting hairs, and voting whether 
-love is an essence and man a molecule ? I have 
observed with deep regret that there is among the 
youth of Bombay an eager desire for the empty 
honours of University degrees, and no disposition 



76 THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 

to fit themselves for the management of practical 
affairs. There are far too many native barristers 
and doctors, and far too few qualified superinten- 
dents of mills and manufactories, geologists, metal- 
lurgists and engineers. There are LL.B.'s in 
plenty, but of educated carpenters, millers, sugar- 
makers, and paper-manufacturers, none, or next to 
none. The great and crying want of modern India 
to-day is a scientific school attached to every 
College, such as we have in America, and in each 
great centre of population a school of Technology, 
with appropriate machinery, where the most im- 
proved methods of the principal handicrafts could 
be taught to intelligent lads. 

Do not imagine that I have the idle notion that 
India can be reformed in a day. This once enlight- 
ened, monotheistic and active people have de- 
scended, step by step, in the course of many cen- 
turies, from the level of Aryan activity to that of 
idolatrous lethargy and fatalism. It will be the 
work not of years but of generations to re-ascend 
the steps of national greatness. But there must be 
a beginning. Those sons of Hindustan who are 
disposed to act rather than preach cannot commence 
a day too soon. This /loiir the country needs your 
help. Leave your molecules to themselves ; put 
away for a time your speculations upon the descent 
of species, cease vain endeavours to count the 
number of times an atom may be split in halves, 
and go to work in earnest to help yourselves and 
your Motherland. The atoms in space will evolve 



Ah'D ITS ALMS. 77 

new worlds without you ; your cotuitry is growing 
weaker and poorer every day, and wants you. 

But you lack capital, you say. Then unite into 
clubs and committees to find out where capital can 
be profitably employed, and spread the facts before 
the Western nations. In London alone there is 
lying, in bank vaults, idle capital enough to 
set every possible Indian industry on its feet. 
Those acute and daring English merchants and 
capitalists ransack the world in search of oppor- 
tunities to earn interest on their surplus incomes. 
Turkish bonds, Peruvian railways, Egyptian consols, 
Bohemian glassworks, American schemes, are all 
tried in this hope of profit. What does Europe or 
America know — really know — of Indian resources, 
trade, customs, business opportunities ? A mere 
handful of bankers and traders have only such facts 
as lie upon the surface of this unworked national 
mine. A few military officers and civil servants 
may have published the records of their casual ob- 
servations. But, in comparison with what ought to 
be known, and might be made known under a proper 
system of general and sub-committees, this is as a 
mere drop in the bucket. As to my own country, 
which would gladly exchange commodities with 
India as with any other nation, I can speak by the 
book. For my people, this land is but a geogra- 
phical abstraction, whose capes, rivers, and chief cities 
are known by name to the schoolboy, and straight- 
way forgotten, for lack of subsequent reminders. 
And yet I hear my native brothers complain of 



78 THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 

poverty. I hear of thousands of stahvart labourers 
dying of hunger for want of employment at three 
pice per day. I see Indian gums, fibres, seeds and 
grains, going abroad in the raw state, and coming 
back manufactured, to be sold to natives at large 
profit. I see men, as well-educated, as strong-minded, 
as capable to succeed in independent business, as any 
young men in New York, or London, or Berlin, de- 
meaning themselves to throng the ante-rooms of 
public officials in search of employment, and ready 
to fall upon each other's faces for the sake of miser- 
able little clerkships. This is what we behold, at 
even a first glance, in the country of our adoption. 

I will make no apology for my plain speech, for 
I come from a practical country, where we have learnt 
that smooth speeches and culture and true friendship 
do not always go together. There is too much talk 
here and too little enterprise; too much suavity and 
not enough available perseverance. There is unmea- 
sured ability to suffer and endure, but not the master 
spirit which laughs at trouble, and rushes to meet 
adversity with the joy of the athlete who hails the 
coming of his adversary as the opportunity, long 
sought, to show his prowess. 

Cast your eye over the Western world and see 
what an intense activity pervades the whole scene. 
Let the picture unroll like a great panorama before 
you. Behold the struggles of all those nations not 
only to extend commerce, but also to settle the 
weightier problem of religious truth. See Christi- 
anity in America broken up into innumerable sects, 



AND ITS AIMS. 79 

and Science leading the public far away from the 
Church into the dry pastures of Materialism and 
Nihilism. See the clergy being stripped of the 
last shreds of their influence and the free secular 
press attaining predominant sway. Look at Great 
Britain agitating the question of disestablishment, 
the Catholics emancipated from the incubus of the 
Irish National Church, and Bradlaugh preaching 
bold atheism in London, Sunday after Sunday. In 
France, behold the revolution in politics that has 
passed the reins of power Into Republican hands, 
and flung out the Jesuits from their cosy nest behind 
MacMahon's chair. In Germany, open rupture w^Ith 
the Pope, and the abolishment of Ecclesiastical privi- 
leges. In Russia, the red spectre of the Nihilist 
Party, menacing both Church and State. Every- 
where, as it were, the boiling and seething of a vast 
cauldron — the conflict between Theology and 
Science. 

This conflict, so eloquently described by Professor 
John William Draper, began with the discovery of 
the printer's art, and its progress has been marked 
by a thousand victories for science. Born out of 
the womb of the Reformation, she has proved the 
benefactress of humanity by facilitating interna- 
tional intercourse, developing national resources, 
surrounding mankind with a multitude of comforts 
and refinements, and bringing education within the 
reach of the humblest labourer. Like other great 
Oriental countries, India has not hitherto availed 
itself of these material advantages. The fault 



So THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 

does not lie with the masses, for they know 
nothing of all that has been going on in 
the busy world. It lies at the door of the edu- 
cated class I have heretofore described. And yon 
are the very men ! Yon have run through the cur- 
ricula of science and literature, and made no practical 
application of your acquired knowledge. The sen- 
tries of this sleeping nation neglect their duty. 

But as the unrestful ocean has its flux and reflux, 
so all throughout Nature the law of periodicity as- 
serts itself Nations come and go, slumber and re- 
awaken. Inactivity is of necessity limited. The 
soul of Aryavarta keeps vigil within the dormant 
body. Again will her splendour shine. Her 
prosperity will be restored. Her primitive philo- 
sophy will once more be interpreted, and it will teach 
both religion and science to an eager world. Her 
ancient literature, though now hidden away from the 
quest of an unsympathetic West, is not buried be- 
yond revival. The hoof of Time, which has stamped 
into dust the vestiges of many a nation, has not 
obliterated those treasures of human thought and 
human inspiration. The youth of India will shake 
off their sloth, and be worthy of their sires. From 
every ruined temple, from every sculptured corri- 
dor cut in the heart of the mountains, from every 
secret viJiara where the custodians of the Sacred 
Science keep alive the torch of primitive wisdom, 
comes a whispering voice which says : "Children, 
your Mother is not dead, but only sleepeth ! " 



THE COMMON FOUNDATION OF 
ALL RELIGIONS.* 



Religion, according to Mr. Herbert Spencer, is 
" a great (I should say the greatest) reahty and a 
great truth— nothing less than an essential and 
indestructible element of human nature." He 
holds that the religious institutions of the world 
represent a genuine and universal feeling in the 
race, just as really as any other institutions. The 
accessory superstitions which have overgrown and 
perverted the religious sentiment must not be con- 
founded with the religious sentiment itself. That 
this should be done is a mischievous mistake, alike of 
religionists and anti-religionists. Science, in clear- 
ing away these excrescences, brings us always 
nearer the underlying truth, and is therefore the 
handmaid and friend of true religion. The sub- 
stratum of truth is the one broad plateau of rock 
upon which the world's theological superstructures 
are reared. It is — as the title of our lecture puts 
it — " the common foundation of all religions." 
And now what is it ? What is this rock ? It is 

* A Lecture delivered at the Patchiappah's Hall, Madras, 

26th April, 1882. 
F 



82 THE COMMON FOUNDATION- 

AL conglomerate, having more than one element In its 
composition. In the first place, of necessity, there is 
the idea of a part of man's nature which is non- 
physical; next, the idea of a post-mortem continua- 
tion of this non-physical part; third, that of the ex- 
istence of an Infinite Principle underlying all phe- 
nomena; fourth, a certain relationship between this 
Infinite Principle and the Individual man. 

The evolution of the grander from the lower 
Intellectual conception in this graded sequence is 
now conceded, alike by the scientist and the theo- 
logian. This evolution is accompanied by an 
elimination ; for in religion, as In all other depart- 
ments of thought, the light cannot be seen until the 
clouds are cleared away. Primitive truth is the 
light, theologies are the clouds; and they are clouds 
still, though they glitter with all the hues of the 
spectrum. Fetish worship, animal worship, hero 
worship, ancestor worship, nature worship, book 
worship ; polytheism, monotheism, theism, deism, 
atheism, materialism (which includes positivism), 
agnosticism ; the blind adoration of the Idol, the 
blind adoration of the crucible — these are the 
alpha and omega of human religious thought, the 
measure of relative spiritual blindness. 

All these conceptions have passed through a 
distorting prism — the human mind ; and that Is why 
they are so Imperfect, so incongruous, so human. A 
man can never see the whole light by looking from 
inside his body outward, any more than one can 
see the clear daylight through a dust-soiled window- 



OF ALL RELLGLONS. S3 

glass, or the stars through a smeared reflecting lens. 
Why? Because the physical senses are adapted only 
to the things of a physical world, and religion is a 
transcendentalism. Religious truth is not a thing 
for physical observation, but one for psychical 
intuition. One who has not developed this 
psychical power can never kno7.v religion as a 
fact ; he can only accept it as a creed, or paint it 
to himself as an emotional sentimentality. Bigotry 
is the brand to put upon one; Dilettantism that for 
the other. Behind both, and equally challenging 
both, stands Scepticism. 

Man's religion, like himself, has its ages. First, 
proclamation, propagandism, martyrdom ; second, 
conquest, faith ; tJiird, neglect, stagnation ; fourth, 
decadence, tenacious formalism ; fifth, hypocrisy ; 
sixtJi, compromise ; seventh, decay and extinction. 
And, like the human race, no religion passes as a 
whole through these stages seriatim. At this very 
day, we see the Australian sunk in the depths of 
animalism, the American Red Indian just emerging 
from the Stone Age, the European in the full flush 
of high material civilization. And so, a glance at 
religious history shows us the cropping up of highly 
heretical schools and sects in every great religion, of 
which each represents some special departure from 
primitive orthodoxy, some separate advance along 
the road towards the final p:oal that we have 
sketched out. And I also note, as the physician 
observes the symptoms of his patient, that history 
constantly affords, in the bitter mutual hatreds of 



84 THE COMMON FOUNDATION 

thcse-cliques and sects for each other, the clearest 
proof that our conckision is correct, when we say — as 
we said just now — that Rehgion can never be really 
known by the physical brain of the physical man. 
All these hatreds, bitternesses, and cruel reprisals of 
sect for sect, and world's faith for world's faith, 
show that men mistake non-essentials for essen- 
tials, illusions for realities. 

We can test this statement very easily. Look 
away from this war of theologians to the class of 
men who have developed their psychical powers, and 
what do you see ? In place of strife, peace, agree- 
ment, mutual tolerance, brotherly concord as to 
the fundamentals of religion. Whatever their 
exoteric creed, they are greater than and far above 
it, and their innate holiness and gentleness of 
nature give life and strength to the church they 
represent; they are the flowers of the human tree, 
the brothers of all mankind ; for they know what 
is the lid^t that shines behind the clouds ; under the 
foundations of all the churches they sec the same 
rock. I ask those of you who wish to be con- 
\ inced of this fact to read the Dabistan, or School of 
Manners, by Mohsan Fani, who records in it his ob- 
servations of the sadhus of twelve different religions, 
two centuries ago. "Granting all the premises," the 
modern sceptic will say, "can you prove to me 
that science has not swept away all your religious 
hypotheses along with the myths, legends, super- 
stitions, and other lumber ?" Well, I answer, " yes." 
It is exactly on that datum line that the Theoso- 



OF ALL RRLLGLONS. 85 

phical Society Is building Itself up. Some people 
think us opponents of science, but, on the contrary, 
we are its warmest advocates — until it begins to 
dogmatize from incomplete known data upon new 
facts. When it reaches that point we challenge it 
and oppose it with all our strength, such as It may be, 
just as we fight the dogmatism of theology. For, 
to our mind, it matters not whether you blindly 
worship a fetish, a man, a book, or a crucible, — It is 
blind idolatry all the same ; and science can be, 
and has been, as cruel and remorseless in her way 
as the Church ever was in hers. 

The first step Is to have an agreement as to what 
the word " science " means. I take it to be the 
collection and arrangement of observed facts about 
Nature. If that is correct, then I protest against 
half measures ; I want those observations to be 
complete, to cover all Nature, not the half of it. 
What sort of an ontology would that be which, while 
pretending to Investigate the laws of our being, 
took note only of our anatomy, physiology, and 
whatever relates to the physical frame of man, 
leaving out all that concerns his mental function ? 
Absurd ! you would say ; but I ask you whether it 
is any more absurd to study man In his body with- 
out the mind, than to study him In body and mind 
while ignoring the trans-corporeal manifestations 
of his middle nature ? You want me to define what 
I mean by this " middle nature " and by its " trans- 
cor.poreal manifestations." I will do so. I start, 
then, with the proposition that there is more of a 



86 TFIE COMMON FOUNDATION 

man than can be burnt with fire, eaten by tigers, 
drowned by water, chopped to pieces with knives, 
or rotted in the ground. The materiahst will deny 
this, but it matters not ; the proposition can be 
proved as easily as that he is a man. They have 
in Europe a science which they call psychology — 
a misnomer ; for it is another kind of ology ; — but we 
will not quarrel about words. Well, when you come 
to analyse the Western idea that underlies this 
term of psychology, you will discover that it 
relates only to the normal and abnormal intellectual 
manifestations of the brain. One class of scientists 
— especially among the alienists, or students of 
insanity — maintain that mind is a function of the 
grey vesicles of the lobes of the brain ; injure the 
brain by any one of a dozen accidents, and sensation 
is cut off, thought ceases, mind is destroyed, the 
thinking, hence responsible, entity is extinguished. 
All that is left is carrion, and out of this carrion, 
before the accident, sprang by magneto-electric 
energy that which distinguishes man from the lowest 
animal, as the lotos springs from slimy mud. The 
opposed party affirm that the brain is the organ of the 
mind, the machine of its manifestation, and that the 
thinking something in man thinks still, and still ex- 
ists, even though the brain be shattered, even though 
the man die. The one reflects the tone of material- 
ist science, the other the tone of the Christian 
Churches and of the two crores * of so-called modern 
spiritualists. The materialists regard man as an 

* An Indian numeral—ten millions. 



OF ALL RELIGIONS. 87 

unity, a thinking machine ; the others regard him 
as a duahty, a compound of body and soul. There 
is no ground for a " middle nature " in either of 
these schools. True, here and there, you will find 
some casual allusion to a third and higher principle 
— the "spirit," — as, for instance, in the Christian 
New Testament (i Thessalonians, v. 23), where 
Paul says, " I pray God your whole spirit and soul 
and body be preserved blameless unto the coming 
of our Lord Jesus Christ," — an expression which, 
however sound as theology, is extremely loose and 
heterodox as science. But the whole drift of 
Christian teaching, and of teaching through or by 
mediums, favours the duality theory; the body dead, 
second principle enters on a new career of its own, 
until it attains to a postulated sjunmiun bonitin or 
sumnimn maluni state. Now, experienced observers 
of the phenomena of mediums have seen many 
animated figures, or more or less substantial 
apparitions of deceased persons, and these they 
regard as returning souls revisiting the land of 
the living. They have no idea of this middle 
nature. But the Hindu philosophers make a far 
deeper analysis of man. Instead of a single part, 
or a duality, they affirm that there are no fewer 
than seven well-defined principles or groups which 
go to make up a human being. These are : — 

(i.) The Material body — Sthulasarira ; 

(2.) The Life Principle — Jiva ; 

(3.) The Astral body — Lingasarira ; 



8S THE COMMON FOUNDATION 

(4.) The Kaviantpa (will, desire), resulting as 
the " Double " — Alayavintpa ; 

(5.) The Physical Intelligence (or Animal Soul) 
— Manas ; 

(6.) The Spiritual Intelligence — Biiddhi ; 

(7.) The Divine Spirit — Atnia. 

And so minute is their analysis, each of these prin- 
ciples Is subdivided into seven sub-groups. Generall}^ 
speaking, the first, fourth, and seventh principles 
mark the boundaries of the tripartite or trinitarian 
man. And the fourth, which just comes mid-way be- 
tween the gross body {Sthuiasanra) and t\\(iAt7na,o\- 
divine and eternal principle, Is this middle nature 
of which we have been In search. Now the next ques- 
tion to be asked us is whetherthis fourth principle, re- 
sulting as JMayavirupa^ or the human " double," Is 
Intelligent or non-intelligent, matter orspirit; and the 
next, whether Its existence can be scientifically ac- 
counted for and proved. We will take them in order. 
In itself the living man's double is either a vapour, a 
mist, or a solid form, according to Its relative state 
of condensation. Given outside the body one set of 
atmospheric, electric, magnetic, telluric, and other 
conditions, this form may be invisible, yet capable 
of making sounds, or manifesting other signs 
of its presence ; given another set of conditions, 
It may be visible, but as a misty vapour ; given 
a third set, it may be condensed into per- 
fect visibility, and even tangibility. Volumes 
upon volumes might be filled with bare para- 



OF ALL RELIGIONS. ■ 89 

graph extracts of recorded instances of these 
apparitional visits. Sometimes the form manifests 
inteUigence, it speaks ; sometimes it can only show 
itself. I am now speaking of the apparitions of 
dead persons. I have myself seen more than 
five hundred such apparitions in America, where 
hundreds more saw them, and have recorded my ex- 
periences in the form of a book, which was gener- 
ously praised by some of the scientists of Europe as a 
careful record of scientifically accurate observations.* 
I only mention it to satisfy you that this is no 
question of hallucination or unsupported statements. 
Well, then, we have here the middle nature of man 
acting outside of and after the death of the plwsical 
body ; though for my part — being a believer in 
Asiatic psychology — I do not believe that these 
post~inortein apparitions are the very man himself 
— the thinking, responsible Ego. They are, I con- 
ceive, but the vapoury image of the deceased — 
matter energized by a residuum of the vital force 
which is still entangled in the lingering molecules. 
Some call them " elementaries ; " others, " shells." 
They are the undispersed phantasms of the dead, 
the apparitional forms of human beings in transit 
between the states of full objectivity and full sub- 
jectivity — 2>., between life in this world and life 
in " Devachan." But to prove our proposition 
we must first show that this middle principle, 
this Mayavintpa or double, can be separated 
from the living body at will, projected to a 
"* " People from the Olhev World." New York, 1S75. 



90 THE COMMON FOUNDATION 

distance, and animated by the full consciousness 
of the man. We have two means of proving 
this — (i) in the concurrent testimony of eye-wit- 
nesses as recorded in the Hterature of different 
races ; and (2) in the evidence of Hving witnesses. 
In the Hindu rehgious and philosophical works 
there are many such testimonies. Not to men- 
tion others, we may cite the famous case of 
Sankaracharya, who entranced his body, left it in 
the custody of his disciples, entered the body of a 
Rajah just deceased, and lived in it for a number 
of weeks ; and that of Agastya, who appeared in 
the heat of the battle between Rama and Ravana, 
while his body was entranced in the Neilgherries. 
This story is given in the Raviayana. In Patan- 
jali's Yoga Sutras this phenomenon is affirmed to 
be within the power of every Siddha who perfects 
himself in Yoga. As to living witnesses, I am one 
myself, for I have seen the doubles of several men 
acting intelligently at great distances from their 
bodies, and in this pamphlet that I hold in my hand,"^ 
will be found the certificates of no less than nine 
reputable persons — five Hindus and four Euro- 
peans — that they have seen such appearances, on 
various occasions, within the past two years. And 
then we have scores of similar attestations from 
credible persons living in different parts of the 
world, which are to be read in many European 
books treating upon these subjects. I do not pre- 
tend to say that a sceptical public can be expecte 

* " Hints on Esoteric Theosophy." By a Member of the Theoso 
phical Society. 



d 



V 



OF ALL RELIGIONS. 91 

to take this mass of evidence, conclusive as It ma}/ 
be, without reserve ; the alleged phenomenon so 
surpasses ordinary human experience that to believe 
its reality each one must see for himself I, how- 
ever, do affirm that we have here 2. prima facia case 
of probable verity made out ; for, under the strictest 
canons of scientific orthodoxy, we cannot suspect 
a conspiracy to exist among so many individual 
witnesses, who never saw or heard of each other, 
who, in fact, did not even live In the same generation, 
but whose testimonies are yet mutually corrobora- 
tive. 

But if we have a case of probable truth, the man 
of science will ask us what we next demand of him. 
Do we allege a natural and scientific, or a super- 
natural, hence unscientific, explanation for the pro- 
jection of the double of the living, and the appari- 
tion of that of the deceased man ? I answer, most 
assuredly, the former. I am devotee enough of 
science to deny, with all the emphasis I can give 
to words, the fact that a miraculous phenomenon 
ever took place, in this or any age. Whatever 
has occurred must have taken place within the 
operation of natural law. To suppose otherwise 
would be equivalent to saying that there is no 
permanency in the laws of the universe, that 
they can be set aside and played with at the caprice 
of an irresponsible and meddlesome Power. We 
should be in a universe going by jerks, started and 
stopped like a clock that a child is playing with 
This supernaturalism is the curse of all creeds, it 



92 THE COMMON FOUNDATION 

hangs like an Incubus around the neck of the re- 
ligious, and hatches the satire of the sceptic : it is 
the dry-rot that eats out the heart of any faith that 
builds upon it. This it is which, carried in the 
body of a church, foredooms it to ultimate destruc- 
tion, as surely as the hidden cancer carried in the 
human system will one day kill it. And of all 
epochs this nineteenth century is the worst in which 
to come before the public as the champions of super- 
natural religions. They are going down in every 
land, melting before the laboratory fires like waxen 
images. No, when I stand forth as the defender 
of Hinduism, Buddhism or Zoroastrianism, I wish 
it to be understood that I do not claim any respect 
or tolerance for them outside the limits of natural 
law. I believe — nay I kiiozu — that their foundation 
is a scientific one, and on those conditions they 
inust stand or fall, so far as I am concerned. I do 
not say they are in equally close reconciliation with 
science, but I do say that whatever foundation they 
have, whether broad or narrow, long or short, is 
and must be a scientific one. And so, too, when I 
ask you to cease from making yourselves ridiculous 
by denying the existence of this middle nature in 
man, it is because I am persuaded, as the result of 
much reading and a good deal of personal experi- 
ence, that the double, or Mayavirupa, is a scientific 
fact. 

Well, then, to return — is it matter or something- 
else ? I say familiar matter plus something else. 
And here stop a moment to think what matter is. 



OF ALL RELLGIONS. 93 

Loose thinkers — among whom we must class raw 
lads fresh from college, with whatever number of 
degrees — are too apt to associate the idea of matter 
with the properties of density, visibility, and tangi- 
bility. But this is very inexcusable. The air we 
breathe is invisible, yet matter, — its equivalents of 
oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and carbonic acid 
are each atomic, ponderable, demonstrable, by 
analysis. Electricity cannot, except under prepared 
conditions, be seen ; yet it is matter. The universal 
ether of science no one ever saw ; yet it is matter 
in a state of extreme tenuity. Take the familiar 
example of forms of water, and see how they 
rapidly run up the scale of tenuity until they elude 
the clutch of science : stone-hard ice, melted ice, 
condensed steam, superheated and invisible steam, 
electricity, and — it is gone out of the world of effects 
into the ^vorld of causes ! 

Well, then, with this warning before you, my 
cerebrally superheated young friend of Madras 
University, pray do not contradict me when I say 
that the Hindu philosophy of man fits in with the 
lines of modern science much more snugly than that 
of either the supernaturalism of the Christian or the 
materialism of the man of science. As we have seen 
the successive forms of water running up into the in- 
visible world, so, here, esoteric Hindu philosophy 
gives us a graduated series of molecular arrange- 
ments in the human economy, at one end of which 
is the concrete mass of the Sthulasarira^ at the 
other that last sublimation called Atnid^ or spirit. 



94 TFIE COMMON FOUNDATION 

" But how can all these exist together in one com- 
bination ? is a man like a nest of boxes or baskets 
fitted into each other, or do you mean to advance 
the scientific absurdity that two things can simulta- 
neously occupy the same space ? " This is a side 
question provoked by the main one, but we must 
dispose of it first I will say, then, that, as the 
thing has been explained to me, each of these 
several sets of atoms which compose the seven 
parts of man, occupy the interstitial spaces between 
the next coarser set of atoms. The more ethereal 
elements in man are focalized as to their several 
energies in what the Hindus call the Shadachak- 
rams, or the six centres of vital force, crowned 
by Sahasralam, in which is located the higher 
consciousness. This supreme point is in the crown 
of the head : the others are located at the spleen, 
the umbilicus, the heart, the root of the throat, 
and the centre of the frontal sinus. The atoms 
of the BiiddJii would then pervade the interstices 
of the lianas ; those of the Manas those of the 
Kaviarupa ; those of the latter those of ^\^ Jiva ; 
and those of the Jiva hose of the StJnilasarira 
And, as each coarser principle contains the particles 
of all the finer principles therefore the StJiulasarira 
may be called the gross casket within which the 
several parts of the composite man are contained. 
Pervading and energizing all is the Atma, or that 
incomprehensible final energy which cannot be 
comprehended by the physical senses, and which is 
described to himself by the Brahman, in the Man- 



OF ALL RELIGIONS. 



95 



diikyo Upanishad hy saying: ''Thou art not this, 
nor that, nor the third, nor anything- which the 
mind can grasp with the help of the physical per- 
ceptions." Your popular Telugu poet beautifully 
and allegorically depicts this idea, in his poem 
Sitardmd anjaniyani (Cosmic Matter), where Sita 
— who is herself the personification of Prakriti — is 
asked by the daughters and wives of the Rishis to 
point out her husband, but, through modesty, re- 
frains. The ladies then, pointing successively to a 
number of different men, ask each time, " Is this 
thy husband ? " She answers in the negative, but 
when they point to Rama she is silent, for she can- 
not even speak of her heart's lord before strangers. 
So, the poet would have us understand, while we 
may freely say what Atma is not, when we are re- 
quired to say what it is we must be silent, for 
words are powerless to express the sublime idea. 

We have now prepared the ground to answer 
both of the questions put by our imaginary critic. 
The Mayavirupa, when intelligently projected be- 
yond the physical body by the developed energy 
of an initiate of Occult Science, contains in it all 
his Manas and Buddhi (including the Chittam and 
Ahankaram—SQnsQ of individuality), i.e., his Physi- 
cal Intelligence and Spiritual Intelligence. The In- 
itiate quits his earthly casket (in which are left the 
Jiva and Lingasarira), and for the moment lives, 
thinks and acts in this Double of himself Its atomic 
condition being less dense than that of the corporeal 
body, it has enhanced powers of locomotion and per- 



96 THE COMMON FOUND A 'HON 

ception. Barriers that would stop the body — for ex- 
ample, the walls of a room — cannot stop it, for its 
particles may pass through the interstices of the 
vibrating gross matter composing the wall. It is in 
the subjective world, and may traverse space like 
thought, which is itself a form of energy. Or, 
if he likes, the Initiate may simply project a non- 
intelligent image of himself and make it appear 
at the spot at which he may have focalized his 
thought''' It depends upon him whether the image 
shall be but an illusionary form, or his own self ; it 
may be mere matter, or matter plus himself As 
to our accounting for the middle nature of man 
scientifically, I have already shown that we may do 
this by the collection of testimonies, and by per- 
sonal observation. We may add that further proof 
is obtainable by the best and surest of all methods 
— that of going oneself through the necessary course 
of self-training, and projecting one's own double. 
For this is no exclusive science reserved for a 
favoured few: it is a true science based upon 
natural law, and within the reach of every one who 
has the requisite qualifications. The humblest 
labourer, if psychically competent, may lift the veil 
of mystery as well as the proudest sovereign or the 
haughtiest priest. 

But, it is constantly asked why are not these 
secrets thrown open to the world as freely as the 

* I have in my possession a small group in silver, given me by a 
Buddhist priest in Ceylon, and representing the debate between 
Lord Buddha and his projected " Double," upon his Dhamma (Law), 
in the presence of the devas, as described in Buddhistic Legend. 



OF ALL RELIGIONS. 97 

details of chemistiy or any other branch of know- 
ledge ? It is a natural question for a superficial 
reasoner to put ; but it is not a sound one. The 
difference between Psychic and Physical sciences 
is that the former can only be learned by the self- 
evolution of psychical powers. No college pro- 
fessor can evolve them for you, nor any friend, 
fellow-student or relative : you must evolve them 
for yourself Can another man learn music, or 
Sanskrit, or the art of painting or sculpture for 
you ? Can another eat, sleep, feel warm or cold, 
digest or breathe, for you ? Then why should you 
expect him to learn Psychology for you? Anyhow 
he cannot do it, however much you expect it ; and 
that is the final answer to all such questioners. Nor 
is it absolutely certain that, even though you should 
try ever so much, you could evolve these powers in 
3/ourself Has every man the capacity for Lan- 
guages, or Music, or Poetry, or Science, or Philo- 
sophy ? You know that each of these require 
certain clear aptitudes, and if you have them not 
you can never become musician, poet, scientist, or 
philosopher. The branches of physical science are 
difficult to master even when you have the natural 
capacity; but psychical science is more difficult than 
any of them — I might almost say than all com- 
bined. That is why the Mahatma has been de- 
scribed as " the rare efflorescence of a generation 
of inquirers" (Sinnett's Occult World, p. 10 1), 
and in all generations the true Sadhu has been 
reverenced as almost a superhuman being. The 

G 



98 THE COMMON FOUNDATION' 

term applies to him only in the sense of his being 
above the weaknesses, the prejudice and the ignor- 
ance of his fellow-men. With the most absurd 
blindness to the experience of the race, we. Founders 
of the Theosophical Society, are constantly being- 
asked to turn its members into adepts. We must 
show them the short cut to the Himavat, the private 
passages to the Asramas in the Neilgherries ! 
They are not willing to work and suffer for the 
getting of knowledge, as all have done who have got 
it heretofore ; they must be put into a first-class 
carriage, and taken straight behind the Veil of Isis ! 
They fancy our Society an improved sort of Miracle 
Club, or School of Magic, wherein, for ten rupees, a 
man can become a Mahatma between the morning 
bath and the evening meal ! Such people entirely 
overlook the two chief avowed objects of the 
Society — the formation of a nucleus of an Universal 
Brotherhood for the research after truth and the 
promotion of kind feelings between man and man ; 
and the pursuit of the study of ancient religions, 
philosophies, and sciences. They do not appreciate 
this purely unselfish part of the Society's work, 
nor seem to think it a noble and most meritorious 
thing to labour for the enlightenment and happiness 
of mankind. They have an insatiable curiosity to 
behold wonders, seeing which they would not, in 
many instances, be stimulated to search after the 
hidden springs of wisdom, but only sit with open 
mouth and pendulous tongue, to wonder how the 
trick was done, and what would be the next one ! 



OF ALL RELIGLONS. 99 

Such minds can get no profit by joining the Theo- 
sophical Society, and I advise them to stay outside. 
We want no such selfish triflers. Ours is a serious, 
hard-working, self-denying society, and we want 
only men worthy to be called men, and worthy of 
our respect. We want men whose first question 
will not be "what good can I get by joining ? " but 
"what good can I do by joining? " Our work re- 
quires the services of men who can be satisfied to 
labour for the next generation, and the succeeding 
ones ; men who, seeing the lamentable religious 
state of the world — seeing noble faiths debased, 
temples, chifrchcs, and holy shrines, thronged by 
hypocrites and mockers^burn with a desire to re- 
kindle the fires of spirituality and morality upon 
the polluted altars, and to bring the knowledge of 
the Rishis within the reach of a sin-burdened world. 
We want Hindus who can love India with so pure 
an affection that they will count it a joy and an 
honour beyond price to work, and to suffer even, 
for her sake. Men we want, who will be able to 
put aside for the moment their puerile hatreds of 
race, and creed, and caste, as they put away a soiled 
cloth or a worn-out garment ; and, with a loving 
heart and clean conscience, be ready to join with 
every other man — be he black or white, red or 
yellow, bond or freeman — whose heart beats 
with love for India and her wide-scattered children 
of many races throughout the world. We welcome 
most those who are ready to trample under foot 
their selfishness when it comes in conflict with the 



100 THE COMMON FOUNDATION 

general good. We welcome the intelligent student 
of science, who has such broad conceptions of his 
subject that he considers it quite as important to 
solve the mystery of Force as to know the atomic 
combinations of Matter ; and feeling so, is not 
afraid or ashamed to take for his teacher any one 
who is competent, whatever be the colour of his 
skin. 

Now to take our scientific argument one step 
further. Granted that the existence of the Double 
has been proven, and also its projectibility, how is 
it projected ? By an expenditure of energy, of 
course. That energy is the vital force set in motion 
by the will. The power of concentrating the will 
for this purpose is one that may be natural or ac- 
quired. There are some persons who have it 
naturally so strong in them that they often send 
their doubles to distant places, and make them 
visible, though they may never have given a day's 
study to the science of Psychology : I have known 
both men and women of this sort. But it is an 
uncommon power, and can never be exercised at 
all times except by the true proficient in psycho- 
logical science. The operations of the brain in 
mechanically evolving the current of will-force have 
been more or less carefully expounded by Bain and 
Maudeseley, while Professors Tait and Balfour 
Stewart have, in their Unseen Universe, traced for 
us the dynamic effect of thought-evolution into the 
Ether, or, as Hindus have called it these thousands 
of }^ears, the Akasa. They go so far as to say that 



OF ALL RELLGIONS. loi 

it Is not an unthinkable proposition that the 
evolution of thought In a single human brain may 
dynamically affect a distant planet. In other 
words, when a thought Is evolved a vibration of 
etheric particles is set up, and this motion must 
continue on indefinitely. Now the Yogi evolves 
such a current, and turns It in upon himself as a 
concentrated force ; continuing the process until 
the power is sufficient to force his Double out of its 
corporeal encasement, and to project it to whatso- 
ever locality he desires. We have thus shown the 
fact of the Mayavlrupa, its capability to exist out- 
side the body, and the energy which causes Its pro- 
jection. I cannot go Into details to elaborate the 
argument, for I can only detain you an hour in this 
tropical heat. But I trust at least to have shown 
3^ou that I rely only upon scientific principles, and 
claim no Indulgence like the advocates of super- 
naturalism. 

And now is this Double — which is nothing 
but what is commonly called the " Soul " — im- 
mortal ? No, it Is not. So much of it as is matter 
in aggregation must ultimately obey the law of 
dispersion which, in time, breaks up and forces out 
of the objective universe whatever is material. It 
is equally the law of planetary as of lesser forms. 
As all that is material In a star was primarily con- 
densed from the loose atoms in space, so all that is 
material in the human body, however coarse or 
however fine, was primarily condensed from the 
chaotic atoms In the Akasa. And to that dis- 



A ■« 



102 THE COMMON FOUNDATION 

persed condition it must return whenever the 
centripetal force that attracted it into the human 
nucleus ceases to resist the centrifugal force, or 
attraction of the atoms of space. This brings us 
right upon the problem of a continuity of existence 
beyond the physical death. Here is the dividing 
line between the world's religions. The dualists 
affirm that this soul goes to heavenly or infernal 
places to be for ever blest or punished, according to 
the deeds done in the body. Though they do not 
use the very word, yet it is the doctrine of - Merit 
they teach. For even those extremely unscientific 
theologians who affirm that a punishing and reward- 
ing Deity has from all time pre-ordained some to 
be saved and some to be damned, tell us that the 
merit of faith In a certain system of morals and dis- 
cipline, and a share in the vicarious merit of another, 
are pre-requisites to future bliss. We may assume 
therefore, that merit, or KARMA, is the corner-stone 
of Religion. This is both a logical and scientific pro- 
position, for the thoughts, words and deeds of a 
man are so many causes which must work out cor- 
responding effects ; the good ones can only pro- 
duce good effects, the bad ones only bad, — unless 
opposed and neutralized by stronger ones that 
are good. I need not go into the metaphysical 
analysis of what is bad and what good. We 
may pass it over with the simple postulate that 
whatever has either a debasing tendency upon the 
individual, or promotes injustice, misery, suffering 
ignorance and animalism in society, is essentially 



OF ALL RELIGIONS. 103 

bad, and that what tends to the contrary is good. I 
should call that a bad religion which taught that it 
is meritorious to do evil that good may come ; for 
good can never come out of evil ; the evil tree pro- 
duces not good fruit. A religion that can only be 
propagated at the point of the sword, or upon the 
martyr's pile, or under instruments of torture, or 
by devastating countries and enslaving their popu- 
lations, or by cunning stratagems seducing ignorant 
children or adults away from their families and 
castes and ancestral creeds — is a vile and devilish 
religion, the enemy of truth, the destroyer of social 
happiness. If a religion is not based upon a lie, 
the fact can be proved, and it can stand unshaken, 
as the rocky mountain, against all the assaults of 
sceptics. A true religion is not one that runs to 
holes and corners, like a naked leper to hide his 
sores, when a bold critic casts his searching eye upon 
it and asks for its credentials. If I stand here to 
defend what is good in Hinduism, it is because of 
my full conviction that that good exists, and that 
however fantastic, and even childish, some may 
think its tangled overgrowth of customs, legends 
and superstitions, there is the rock of truth, of 
scientific truth, below them all. On that rock it 
is destined to stand throuc^h countless comincf 
generations, as it has already stood through the count- 
less generations which have professed that hoary 
Faith, since the Rishis shot from their Himalayan 
heights the blazing light of spiritual truth over a 
dark and ignorant world. 



ro4 THE C MAW N FOUNDATION 

It is most reasonable that you should ask me 
what those of you are to do who are not gifted 
with the power to get outside the illusion-breeding 
screen of the body and to acquire an intimate actual 
perception of " Divine " truth through the developed 
psychical senses. As we have ourselves shown 
that all men cannot be adepts, what comfort do we 
hold out to the rest ? This involves a momentary 
glance at the theory of re-births. If this little span 
of human life we are now enjoying be the entire 
sum of human existence, if you and I never lived 
before and will never live' again, then there would 
be no ray of hope to offer to any mind that was 
not capable of the intellectual suicide of blind faith. 
The doctrine of a vicarious atonement for sin is not 
merely unthinkable, it is positively repulsive to one 
who can take a larger and more scientific view of 
man's origin and destiny than that of the dualists. 
One whose religious perceptions rest upon the in- 
tuition that cause and effect are equal : that there 
is a perfect and correspondential reign of Law 
throughout the universe : that under any reason- 
able conception of eternity, there must always have 
been at work the same forces as are now active — 
must scout the assertion that this brief instant of 
sentient life is our only one. Science has traced 
us back through an inconceivably long sequence of 
existences — in the human, the animal, the vege- 
table, and the mineral kingdoms — to the cradle of 
future sentient life, the Ether of space. Would a 
man of science, then, make bold to affirm that you 



OF ALL L^ELIGIONS. 105 

and I, who represent a relatively high stage of 
evolution, came to be what we are without previous 
development In other births, whether on this earth 
or other planets ? And If he would not, he must, 
In conformity with his own canons of the conserva- 
tion and correlation of energy, deduce from the 
whole analogy of nature that there Is another life 
for us beyond this life. The force which evolved 
us cannot be expended, It must run on In Its vibra- 
tory line until Its limit Is reached. And that limit 
the Hindu and the Buddhist, the Jain and the 
Zoroastrian adept, all define as that abstract state 
which lies beyond the phenomenal one of Illusions 
and pain. Whatever they may call It — whether 
Muktl, or Nirvana, or Light, — It Is all the same Idea : 
It Is the outcome of the eternal Principle of energy 
after passing around a cycle of correlations with 
matter. That final limit the " Middle Nature," as a 
whole, never reaches, for It Is material as to Its form, 
size, colour and atomic relations : if we call It the 
" Soul," therefore, we may say that the " soul " is 
not Immortal ; for that which Is material tends 
always to resume Its primitive atomic condition. 
And the Hindu Philosopher, arguing from this 
premiss, teaches that what does escape out of 
the phenomenal world is Atmd, the SPIRIT. 
Thus, while from the Hindu standpoint it Is 
correct to say the " soul " Is not immortal, it 
must also be added that the " spirit," Is ; for, 
unlike the Soul, or Middle Nature, Atmd con- 
tains no mortal and perishable ingredients, 



io6 THE COMMON FOUNDATION 

but Is of its essence both unchangeable and 
eternal. 

The confusion of the words " Soul " and " Spirit," 
so common now, is perplexing and mischievous to 
the last degree. 

It Is no argument to bring against the Asiatic 
theory of Palingenesis, that we have no remem- 
brance of former existences. We have forgotten 
nineteen-twentieths of the incidents of our present 
life. Memory plays us the most prankish tricks. 
Every one of us can recollect some one trifling 
incident out of a whole day's, month's, year's, inci- 
dents of our earliest years, and one that was in no 
way important, nor apparently more calculated 
than the others to impress Itself indelibly upon the 
memory. Howls this? And If this utter forget- 
fulness of the majority of our life-Incidents Is no 
proof that we did not exist consciously at those 
times, then our oblivion of the entire experiences 
In previous births is no argument against the fact 
of such previous births. Nor, let me hasten to add, 
are the alleged remembrances of previous births, 
affirmed by the modern school of Relncarnationists, 
valid proofs of such births : they may be — I do not 
say they arc — mere tricks of the Imagination, cere- 
bral pictures suggested by chance external In- 
fluences. The only question with us Is whether 
In science and logic It Is necessary for us to postu- 
late for ourselves a series of births, somewhere, at 
various times. And this I think must be answered 
in the afflrmatlve."^ 

* I have explained in my Buddhist Catechism the Buddhist 



OF ALL P^ELIGIONS. 107 

So, then, conceding the plurality of births emd 
coming back to our argument, we see that even 
though any one of us may not have the capacity 
for acquiring adeptship in this birth, it is still 
a possibility to acquire it in a succeeding one. 
If we make the beginning we create a cause which 
will, in due time, and in proportion to its original 
energy, sooner or later give us adeptship, and with 
it the knowledge of the hidden laws of being, and 
of the way to break the shackles of matter and 
obtain Mukti — Emancipation. And the first step 
in this beginning is to cleanse ourselves from vicious 
desires and habits, to do away with unreasoning 
prejudices, dogmatism and intolerance, to try to 
discover what is essentially fundamental, and what 
is non-essential, in the religion one professes, and to 
live up to the highest ideal of goodness, intelligence, 
and spiritual-mindedness that one can extract from 
that religion and from the intuitions of one's own 
nature. I regard that man as a mad iconoclast 
who would strike down any religion — especially 
one of the world's ancient religions — without 
examining it and giving it credit for its intrinsic 
truth. I call him a vain enthusiast who would 
patch up a new faith out of the ancient faiths, 
merely to have his name in the mouths of men. I 
call him a foolish zealot who would expect to make 

theory of the non-transfer of memory from birth to birtli. 
Briefly, a memory of each birth is evolved within that birth, and 
when a person can attain to the " fourth stage of Dhyana," or in- 
terior evolution, he can psychically recall all the series of memories 
belonging to his consecutive births. 



io8 THE COMMON FOUNDATION 

all men see truth as he sees it, shice no two men 
can even see alike a simple tree or shrub, far less 
grasp metaphysical propositions with the same 
clearness. As for those who go about the world 
to propagate their peculiar religious belief, without 
the ability to show its superiority to other beliefs 
which they would supplant, or to answer without 
equivocation the fair questions of critics — they are 
either well-meaning visionaries or presumptuous 
fools. But mad, or vain, or stupid, as either of 
these may be, if sincere they are personally 
entitled to the respect that sincerity always com- 
mands. Unless the whole world is ready to accept 
one infallible chief, and blindly adopt one creed as 
the wisest, the only rule must ever be to tolerate in 
our fellow-men that infirmity of judgment to which 
we are ourselves always liable, and from which we are 
never wholly free. And that is the declared policy 
and platform of the Theosophical Society — as you 
may see by reading the pamphlet containing its Rules 
and Bye-Laws. It is the broad platform of mutual 
tolerance and universal brotherhood. 

There must be elementary stages leading up to- 
wards adeptship, you will say. There are, and mod- 
ern science has laid out some of them. I told you 
that Psychology is the most difficult of sciences to 
get to the bottom of, but still Western research has 
cleared many obstacles from the path. Mesmerism 
is by far the most necessary branch of study to take 
up first. It gives you (i) proof of the separability 
of mind from conscious physical existence ; a mes- 



OF ALL RELIGIONS. IC9 

mcrized subject may show an active intellectual con- 
sciousness and discrimination while his body is not 
only asleep but buried in so profound a trance as 
to more resemble a livid corpse than a living man ; 
(2) it gives you proof of the actual transmissibility 
of thought from one mind to another : the mesmeric 
operator can, without uttering a word or giving a 
perceptible signal, transmit to his subject the 
thought in his own mind ; (3) it easily proves the 
reality of a power to hear sounds and see things 
occurring at great distances, to communicate with 
the thought of distant persons, to look through walls, 
down into the bowels of the earth, into the depths 
of the ocean, and through all other obstructions to 
corporeal vision ; (4) as also of a power to look into 
the human body, detect the seat and causes of 
disease and prescribe suitable remedies, and to 
impart health and restore physical and mental 
vigour by the laying on of the mesmerist's hands, or 
by his imparting his robust vital force to a glass of 
water for the patient to drink, or to his wearing 
apparel ; (5) of a power to see the past and even to 
prognosticate the future. These and many more 
things Mesmeric Science enables a person, not an 
adept of the higher Asiatic Psychology, to prove com- 
pletely to himself and to others. I say this on the 
authority of a Committee of the Academy of France. 
And then, besides Mesmerism, there are the highly 
important branches of Psychometry and Me- 
diumism,and others that to barely mention would be 
beyond the scope of my present lecture. Each and 



no THE COMMON FOUNDATION 

all help the inquirer towards the acquisition of 
* Divine' wisdom, towards an intelligent and scien- 
tific conception of the laws of that " Eternal Some- 
thing," as Mr. Herbert Spencer calls it, which you may 
call God, or by any other name you like. Whatever 
name you may choose for it, the knowledge of it is 
the highest goal for human thought, and to be in a 
state of harmony with it the noblest, first and most 
necessary aspiration of an intelligent man. The 
pursuit of this knowledge is, in one word, Theo- 
SOPHY, and the proper methods of research consti- 
tute Theosophical Science. 

And thus in a single sentence I have answered a 
thousand questions as to what Theosophy is, and 
what the object of theosophical research. Most of 
you, like the great mass of Hindus, have, until this 
moment, been imagining to yourselves that we were 
come to preach some new religion, to propagate 
some new conceit, to set up some new " New Dis- 
pensation." You see now how far you have been 
from the mark, and what popular injustice has been 
done to us. Instead of preaching a new religion, 
we are preaching the superior claims of the oldest 
religions in the world to the confidence of the pre- 
sent generation. It is not our poor Ignorant selves 
that we offer to you as guides and gurus, but the 
venerable Rishis of the archaic ages. It is not an 
American or a Russian, but a hoary Hindu philoso- 
phy that we claim your allegiance for. We come 
not to pull down and destroy, but to rebuild, the 



OF ALL RELIGIONS. 1 1 1 

strong fabric of Asiatic religion. We ask you to 
help us to set it up again, not on the shifting and 
treacherous sands of blind faith, but upon the rocky 
base of truth, and to cement its separate stones 
together with the strong cement of Modern Science. 
Hinduism proper has nothing zvhatever to fear from 
the researches of Science. Whatever of falsehood 
may have come down to you from previous genera- 
tions we may well dispense with, and when the time 
comes for us to see through our present viaya 
(illusions), we will cheerfully do so. " The world 
was not made in a day ; " and we are not such 
ignorant enthusiasts as to dream that in a day, or 
a year, or a generation, long established errors can 
be detected and done away with. Let us but 
always desire to know the truth, and hold ourselves 
ready to speak for it, act for it, die for it, if necessary, 
when we may discover it. People ask us what is 
our religion, and how it is possible for us to be on 
equal terms of friendliness with people of such an- 
tagonistic faiths. I answer that what may be our 
personal preference among the world's religions 
has nothing to do with the general question of 
Theosophy. We are advocating Theosophy, as the 
only method by which one may discover that 
Eternal Something, not asking people of another 
creed than ours to take our creed and throw aside 
their own. We two Founders profess a religion of 
tolerance, charity, kindness, altruism, or love of one's 
fellows ; a religion that does not try to discover all 
that is bad in our neighbour's creed, but all that is 



112 THE COMMON FO UN DA TION 

good, and to make him live up to the best code of 
morals and piety he can find in it. We profess, in 
a word, the religion that is embodied in the golden 
rule of Confucius, of Gautama, and of the founders 
of nearly all the great religions, and that is preserved 
for the admiration and reverence of posterity, in the 
edicts of the good King Asoka, on the monoliths 
and rocks of Hindustan. Following this simple 
creed, we find no difficulty whatever in living upon 
terms of perfect peace with the adherent of any 
creed who will meet us in a reciprocal spirit. If we 
have been at war with the pretended Christians, it 
is because they have belied the teachings of him 
whom they call their Master, and by every vile 
and unworthy subterfuge have tried to oppose the 
growth of our influence. It is they who war upon 
us, for defending Hinduism and the other Asiatic 
religions, not we who war upon them. If they would 
practise their own precepts we would never use voice 
or pen against them ; for then they would respect the 
religious feelings of the Hindu, the Parsi, the Jain, 
the Jew, the Buddhist and the Mussulman, and de- 
serve our respect in return. But they began with 
calumny instead of argument, and calumny, I fear, will 
be their favourite weapon to the very end. In com- 
parison with the unmanly conduct of my countryman 
(Rev. Mr. Cook) who lectured here the other day, de- 
nouncing the Vedas as filthy abomination and the 
Theosophlsts as disreputable adventurers, how sweet 
and noble was the behaviour of that Mohammedan 
lawyer who defended Raymond Lully, when a 



OF ALL kEUGiONS. 113 

Mussulman tribunal was disposed to punish him 
for trying to propagate his religion in their city. 
"If you think it a meritorious act, O Moslems ! 
for a Mussulman to try to preach Islam among the 
heretics, why should we be uncharitable to this 
Christian, whose motive is identical ? " I cannot re- 
member the exact words, but that is the sense. 
The tender voice of Charity spoke by that lawyer's 
lips, and his words were the echo of the spirit of 
Truth. 

Come then, old men and young men of Madras, 
if you call yourselves lovers of India, and would make 
yourselves worthy of the blessings of the Rishis, 
join hands and hearts with us to carry on this great 
work. We ask you for no honours, no worldly 
benefits or rewards, for ourselves. We do not seek 
you for followers ; choose your proper leaders from 
among your wisest and purest men, and we will 
follow them. We do not offer ourselves as your 
teachers, for all we can teach is what we have learnt 
from this Asia ; the Gospel we circulate is derived 
from the recluses of the Indian mountains, not from 
the professors of the West. It is for India we plead, 
for the restoration of her ancient religion, for the 
vindication of her ancient glory, for the maintenance 
of her greatness in science, in the arts, in philosophy. 
If any selfish consideration of sect or caste, or local 
prejudice, bar the way, put it aside, at least until you 
have done something for the land of your birth, for 
the renown of your noble race. In this great crowd I 
see painted upon your foreheads the vertical sect- 

H 



114 THE COMMON 2^0 UND ATI ON. 

marks of the Dwaitis and the Visishtadvaitis, and 
the horizontal stripes of the Sivaites. These are the 
surface indications of reh'gious differences that 
have often burst out in bitter words and bitter 
deeds. But, with another sense than the eye of the 
body, I see another set of sect-marks, indicative of 
far greater peril to Indian nationality and Indian 
spirituality than those. These marks are branded 
deep upon the brains and hearts of some — though, 
happily, not all — of your most promising young 
men, the choicest children of the sorrowino: Mother 
India, and they are eating away the sense of pride 
that they belong to this race and have inherited 
this noble religion. These are the B.A., B.L., and 
M.A. brands that the University over yonder has 
marked you with. After three years of intercourse 
with the Hindu nation and of identification with its 
thought, I almost feel a shudder when some noble- 
browcd youth is presented to me as a titled gradu- 
ate. Not that I undervalue the importance of 
college culture, nor the honourable distinction one 
earns by acquiring University degrees ; but I say 
that, if sucJi distinctions can only be had at the cost of 
ones national honour and of ones spiritual intuitions^ 
they are a curse to the graduate and a calamity to 
his country. I would rather see a dirty Bairagee, 
who has his ancestors' intuitive belief in man's 
spiritual capabilities, than the most brilliant gradu- 
ate ever turned out of the University, who has lost 
that belief. Let me keep company with the naked 
hermit of the jungle rather than with a graduate 



OF ALL RELLGIONS. 115 

who, though loaded with degrees, has, by a course 
of false history and false science, been made to lose 
all faith in anything greater in the universe than a 
Haeckel or a Comte, or In any powers in himself 
higher than those of procreation, thought or diges- 
tion. Call me a Conservative, if you will ; I am 
conservative to this extent that, until our modern 
professors can show me a philosophy that is un- 
assailable ; a science that Is self-demonstrative, that 
Is, axiomatic ; a psychology that takes in all psychic 
phenomena; a new religion that is all truth and with- 
out a flaw, I shall proclaim that which I feel, which 
I know to be the fact, — viz., that the Rishis knew the 
secrets of Nature and of Man, that there Is but one 
common platform of all religions, and that upon it 
ever stood and now stand, in fraternal concord and 
amity, the hierophants and esoteric initiates of the 
world's great faiths. That platform is Theosophy. 
May the blessing of its ancient Masters be upon 
our poor stricken India ! 



THEOSOPHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 
BASIS OF RELIGION.* 



Notwithstanding the very complimentary terms 
kindly employed by my honoured friend, the 
Chairman, in bespeaking your attention to the 
remarks I shall make, I feel most keenly my 
incapacity to deal with our subject as it deserves. 
When I face this vast audience, and recollect that 
it represents the highest culture of Bengal ; when I 
think that we are met under the very shadow ol 
Calcutta University ; when I reflect that these 
walls have resounded to the voices of native 
orators, whose eloquence can hardly be surpassed 
by the most eminent senators in Western Parlia- 
ments and Congresses, and that, from the very spot 
where I stand, you have been addressed upon the 
most burning questions in religion and politics by 
Kally Churn Banner] i, Lalmohun Ghose, Keshub 
Chunder Sen, Surendra Nath Bannerji, Kristo Das 
Pal, Sivanath Sastri, and Protap Chunder Mozum- 
dar, — a sense of personal inferiority to those great 
masters of rhetoric and logic oppresses and warns 
me. But I have a message to deliver — a message 
of reproach in part, but also one of encouragement. 
I may not soothe your ears with the melody of 

* A LecLiue Delivered at the Town Hall, Cakutta, llh Aprils 1S82. 



BASIS OF RELIGION. 1 1 7 

your own gifted speakers; but I must deliver it, 
though all of them were here ; ay, though all 
the great dead of the past generations, who gave 
renown to the name of Bengal, were to cluster 
about this platform. I would they might do so ; 
indeed, I should feel more sure of ^he moral 
regeneration of India, if those glorious ancestors of 
yours could but confront you for one short hour. 
If you could but hear what they would say of the 
ways in which you are maintaining their honour 
and sustaining their dignity, I think I should not 
then need to utter a single word : one look at the ex- 
pression of their faces, as their glance, of mingled 
reproach and displeasure shot through to the very 
marrow of your being, would be quite enough. If 
you want to estimate modern Bengal, with its 
foreign clothes and foreign vices, at its proper 
valuation, put it beside ancient Bengal. Call out 
your pertest Babu, who has fed on Spencer and 
Mill until he fancies himself able to build a new 
religion, or even a new planet ; clothe him with all 
his academic honours ; stuff his hands full of his 
diplomas; gather around him all the paraphernalia of 
Western culture, including the spirituous aids to re- 
flection. If we were toask this B.A. — this Bad Aryan 
—to give to the present audience his candid opinion 
of himself, he would probably tell you that he was 
the type and the bemc ideal of Hindu development 
— a fair representative of what young India might 
become under the fertilising sprinkles of the college 
watering-pot. But if we had the power to evoke 



Ii8 THEOSOFHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

the shades of the great Menu, of Kapila, Gautama, 
Patanjali, Kanada, and Veda Vyasa ; of Jaimini, 
Narada, Marichi, Vasishta, and other really great 
Hindus, and could place them before you on this 
platform, how would our trousered B.A. appear 
then ? That is the gist of the whole question. A 
nation which has had representatives such as those 
I have named, need not go to any foreign teachers 
for an imprimatur o\ culture. When they can match 
•the Aryan Rishis, then it will be time enough to 
look up to them as the gods of the academic 
BraJimaloka. And that is part of my message to 
young Bengal. 

I know that the first question which arises in the 
minds of my audience is, what motive I have in 
talking thus. You listen in surprise to hear a white 
man speak, as, hitherto, you have only heard your 
orthodox Hindus speak. And as you have always 
observed that a motive underlies all human action, 
you must be asking yourselves what is my motive ? 
I must therefore preface my discourse with some 
personal explanations. 

Elsewhere in India it is pretty well known how 
we Theosophists came here, and why. For three 
years — that is, since February, 1879, — we have been 
living under the public eye at Bombay, and every- 
body knows what sort of people we are, how we 
live, and what we do. We have lived down serious 
suspicions and calumnies. I could not give you a 
better proof of this than by referring you to the 
action of the Hindu and Parsi educated public the 



71. i SIS OF RELIGION. 119 

other day when a ranting missionary from my own 
country Indulged In false and insulting remarks 
about us, In one of his public lectures. The re- 
sponse the natives made showed most unmistakeably 
that his slanders had Increased rather than dimin- 
ished their friendliness for their theosophist friends. 
It will be so here. Though this Is my first visit to 
Calcutta, It will not, I trust, be the last. I expect 
henceforth to spend at least two or three months of 
each year in Bengal, and you will thus have ample 
opportunity to become acquainted with me. We 
are not birds of passage ; we have not come to 
India, as Sinbad did to the Valley of Diamonds, to 
pick up what we can, and after a time flit away. We 
have not the least intention of returning to our own 
countries to reside. India is our chosen home, the 
land of our adoption; and the Hindus are our dearest 
friends, If not our brothers. We were not driven out 
of our Western homes. If we had chosen to stop 
there, we should now be enjoying all comforts and 
pleasures. In my native land, where the highest 
offices of State are open to all aspirants, I might 
even now, if I should return, hold, as I havefor many 
years before held, posts of honour and importance. 
One of our most influential New York journals, a 
journal which circulates a lac and a quarter of 
copies every week-day, and of its Sunday edition 
167,000 copies, asked, the other day, why I should 
expatriate myself, and why I did not return to my 
own people to teach them about Asiatic philosophy? 
Nor did I leave America to better my fortunes. A 



120 THEOSOniY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

sorry way it v\'ould be of improving one's prospects 
to give up an income of thousands of rupees, and 
devote every moment of one's time to the interests 
of a philanthropic society, for whose support I 
must pay thousands annually out of my private 
means. There are the Treasurer's accounts, 
audited and certificated by the Council of the 
Society, which show that I am stating the bare 
fact. They show that since we began at New York 
our preparations to depart for India, Madame 
Blavatsky and I have given towards the expenses 
of our Society more than Rs. 25,000. And since 
we came we have not asked a Hindu, a Parsi, a 
Buddhist, or any one else, to give us one solitary 
rupee for our private benefit. Well, admitting all 
this to be true, the question will all the more press 
home upon you — what is our motive, why should 
we take up this life of public drudgery, move over 
Asia like uneasy ghosts, expose ourselves to the 
darts of slander and the stings of suspicion ? I 
shall tell you ; the answer is simple enough. We 
follow an idea ; and for it we face obstacles, dis- 
comfort, and danger, incur expense and trouble, 
resign as worthless what men usually prize, and 
relinquishing family and home, country and friends, 
make a new home in Asia, and seek friends and 
brethren among her ancient races. We are 
covetous ; yes, but it is for knowledge. We are 
ambitious ; yes, but only for a place among those 
who have loved humanit}-, irrespective of caste, 
race and creed. We are conspirators \ )'es, but 



BA SIS OF J^ RL TGI ON. 1 2 1 

only with the good and true souls who have deep 
religious aspirations, and who, deploring the 
darkened spiritual state of mankind, would point 
back to the beacons of hope that the Ris/iis of old 
lit on the mountain peaks of Aryan philosophy. 
When you come to know us, you will recall my 
present words, and be ready to testify that I told 
you only the truth. 

But how comes about this w^onder that we 
foreigners should feel so deep a reverence for 
Hindu philosophy, and why even then should we 
have left our country to come here ? 

In the year 1874, Madame Blavatsky and I met. 
I had been a student of practical psychology for 
nearly a quarter of a century. From boyhood no 
problem had interested me so much as the mystery 
of man, and I had been seeking for light upon it 
wherever it could be found. To understand the 
physical man, I had read something of anatom}-, 
physiology and chemistry. To get an insight into 
the nature of mind and thought, I had read the 
various authorities of orthodox science, and practi- 
cally investigated the heterodox branches of 
phrenology, physiognomy, mesmerism and psycho- 
metry. To understand mesmerism one must have 
read Von Reichenbach's " Researches on Magnet- 
ism, Electricity, &c., &c., in their relations to the 
Vital Force," and I venture to say that no one can 
possibly comprehend the rationale of the astound- 
ing phenomena of modern spiritualism, who has 
not prepared himself by a glance at all the subjects 



122 THE OS PHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

above enumerated. So, then, this had been my 
bent of mind since boyhood, and although I ahvays 
took an active part in all that concerned my 
country and fellow-countrymen, and an especially 
active one during our late Civil War, yet my heart 
was not set on worldly affairs. In the year above 
mentioned (1874), I was investigating a most start- 
ling case of mediumship, that of William Eddy, an 
uneducated farmer, in whose house were nightly 
appearing, and often talking, the alleged spirits of 
dead persons. I will not go into particulars just 
now, for I have other things to speak about ; 
perhaps I may make it the subject of some future 
discourse. Suffice it that with my own eyes I saw, 
within the space of about three months, some five 
hundred of these apparitions, under circumstances 
which, to my mind, excluded the possibility of 
trickery or fraud. My observations were com- 
municated to a New York daily journal during the 
whole period, and the facts excited the greatest 
wonder. Madame Blavatsky and I met at this 
farm-house, and the similarity of our tastes for 
mystical research led to an intimate acquaintance. 
She soon proved to me that, in comparison with 
even the chela of an Indian Ma/mtnia, the authori- 
ties I had been accustomed to look up to knew 
absolutely nothing. Little by little she opened 
out to me as much of the truth as my experiences 
had fitted me to grasp. Step by step- 1 was 
forced to relinquish illusory beliefs, cherished 
for twenty years. And as the light gradually 



BASIS OF RELIGION. 123 

dawned on my mind, my reverence for the unseen 
teachers who had instructed her grew apace. At 
the same time, a deep and insatiable yearning- 
possessed me to seek their society, or, at 
least, to take up my residence in a land 
which their presence glorified, and incorporate 
myself with a people whom their greatness en- 
nobled. The time came when I was blessed with 
a visit from one of these MaJiatinas in my own 
room at New York — a visit from him, not in the 
physical body, but in the " double," or Mayavi- 
rupa. When I asked him to leave me some 
tangible evidence that I had not been the dupe of 
a vision, but that he had indeed been there, he 
removed from his head the puggri he wore, and 
giving it to me, vanished from my sight. That 
cloth I have still, and in one corner is marked in 
thread the cipher or signature he always attaches 
to the notes he writes to myself and others. This 
visit and his conversation sent my heart at one 
leap around the globe, across oceans and continents, 
over sea and land, to India, and from that moment 
I had a motive to live for, an end to strive after. 
That motive was to gain the Aryan wisdom ; that 
end to work for its dissemination. Thenceforth I 
began to count the years, the months, the days, as 
they passed, for they were bringing me ever nearer 
the time when I should drag my body after the eager 
thought that had so long preceded it. In Novem- 
ber, 1875, we founded the Theosophical Society as 
a nucleus around which might gather all those of 



124 THEOSOPIIY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

every race and land, who were in sympathy with 
our mode of research ; and as no such body could 
have any permanence unless we should eliminate 
the ever obvious causes of disagreement among 
men — religious bigotry and social intolerance — we 
organised it on the basis of universal brotherhood. 
The idea must have been a good one, since it has suc- 
ceeded. I doubt if any society of a cognate character 
has ever so rapidly increased as ours. We already 
have branches in most parts of the world, and are 
fast overspreading India with our organizations. 
The branch I shall tomorrow form at Calcutta 
will be the twenty-fifth in this country established 
since February, 1879, and by the time I reach 
Bombay there will be twenty-eight. But I am 
getting ahead of my subject: let me turn. During 
the three years w^ien I Avas waiting to come to 
India, I had other visits from the LlaJiatnias^ and 
they were not all Hindus or Cashmeris. I know 
some fifteen in all, and among them Copts, 
Tibetans, Chinese, Japanese, Siamese, a Hun- 
garian, and a Cypriote. But, whatever they are, 
however much they may differ externally as to 
race, religion and caste, they are in perfect agree- 
ment as to the fundamentals of .occult science and 
the scientific basis of religion. 

The long-wished-for time came at last ; our 
private affairs were settled, the New York Society 
was placed in competent hands ; and my colleague 
and I embarked. Many friends accompanied us to 
the vessel to say good-bye, and their waving hand- 



BASIS OF RELIGION, 125 

kerchiefs, which we watched as long as we could see 
them, were a testimony to the exiles that they were 
leaving loving hearts behind. How thoroughly, not- 
withstanding, I had transferred my love to the coun- 
try of my adoption, you may imagine when I tell you 
tliat as our steamer passed out of the harbour to the 
ocean, I cast no " longing, lingering look behind." 
Though I was leaving the native land I had loved so 
dearly, and had even risked my life for, and never 
expected to behold it again, I did not even give it 
the tribute of a sigh ; but, descending to my cabin, 
opened the map of India, and sent my thought to 
my Land of Promise. But when, after buffeting the 
storms of various waters, we neared Bombay, then 
far into the night, alone I paced the forecastle to 
catch the first glimpse of the beacon-light that 
waited to welcome me home. The passengers were 
fast asleep, and only the watch on deck and myself 
were there to see the stars of the Indian sky, and the 
fire-seething waves of the Indian sea. The midnight 
bells were struck, but still the lighthouse could not 
be made out. At last, at one in the morning, the 
officer on duty, who knew my anxiety, relieved it 
by pointing to a faintly luminous speck at the 
water's edge, and telling me that that was Bombay 
light. My heart gave a throb, as perhaps throbs 
the heart of an old Hindu who has been long away 
in foreign countries ; and a feeling of joy and 
pleasure came across me to think that my journey 
was ended, and my real life about to begin. I had 
pictured to myself a Hindu nation homogeneous, 



126 THEOSOPHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

at least, as regards spirituality and love of their 
ancestors — one great family, rejoicing in the Aryan 
name, and with a religious faith built upon the 
assurance, if not the knowledge, of theosophical 
truth. Though I knew there w^ere religious sects 
and cliques, I thought that these barriers were 
not high enough to keep Hindus apart. I had 
written to Keshub Babu to ask him to join in our 
work, and I was ready to serve in any subordinate 
capacity, under and with anybody, no matter 
whom, in the interest of India and Indians. I only 
asked some little corner, however small, w^here I 
might incorporate myself with their national life 
and thought ; and as I asked nothing but the 
privilege to learn and work, I hoped tobe taken at my 
word and tobe viewed as a friend. But I was not: 
the back of the hand, not the palm, was offered me. 
Dogged by the Government Police as suspects, 
my colleague and I were not happy enough to find 
a sure refuge in Indian hearts. Our char- 
acters were traduced by the enemies of 
Indian religion without a protest from its 
followers ; it seemed, in fact, as though we were 
doomed to see every hope crushed — every one we 
had an affection for turn his back upon us. Thus 
under a black sky of trouble, we went on for weary 
months together, keeping up our courage by re- 
membering what goal we had in view, and by 
degrees learning to pluck success from the very 
thorn bush of disaster. We founded our Bombay 
Branch, then another and another ; we established 



BASIS OF RELIGION. 127 

our magazine, the TJicosopJdst^ and made it a suc- 
cess ; we went to Ceylon, and were greeted with 
enthusiasm ; and though some who mistook us for 
sectarians have broken with us, the third year of 
our Indian work now opens up, bright and full of 
promise. The worst, we think, is over ; and every 
month, as I remarked in a recent lecture, we are 
being drawn nearer and nearer to the Indian heart. 
I venture to take thevastnessof the present audience 
as a proof of this fact, for I cannot believe it is only 
idle curiosity that has brought all of you to- 
gether. Our appeals to you to remember the 
glories of Aryavarta and strive to revive them, 
have not fallen upon deaf ears ; the dry bones are 
stirring with the flutter of a higher and nobler 
spiritual life ; the echoes of sympathy are coming 
towards us from North and South, from East 
and West. Bombay has spoken, the North- 
West has spoken. Madras has spoken, and there 
have even been whispers from Bengal, though we 
have never, until now, spoken to Bengali audiences. 
Away with despondency and dejection ! The morn 
is breaking, and if we wait but a little longer, we 
may see the perfect day. 

No one feels more sensibly than I do the anomaly 
that a white man should be appealing to you to 
study your religion. This is work for your learned 
Pundits. But they are silent ; and what is to be 
done ? I met the greatest Pundits of India at 
Benares, and, after showing to them the effects of 
Western culture upon the religious thought of 



128 THE OS PHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

Young India, implored them to rise to the occasion, 
and to do their duty. As though the voice of the 
Rishis were speaking by my Hps, I arraigned them 
at the bar of their country, and said that history 
would not hold them guiltless, if the entire body of 
our youth should fall into materialist scepticism. 
I begged that they would at least compile tracts 
and catechisms, which should embody the great 
principles of morality and religion, the broad out- 
lines of philosophy and spiritual science laid 
down in the Sastras, so that it might be seen 
that a Hindu need look nowhere outside his own 
literature for inspiration to noble deeds and noble 
living. The Pundits listened, applauded, signed 
articles of union between their Sabha and our 
Society, and then — did nothing more. I am wait- 
ing on and hoping almost against hope that from 
among the greatest of your living scholars will 
step forth a moral regenerator to lead you 
back from your desultory wanderings to the 
solid ground of Hindu philosophy. Must India 
call in vain ? Must the empty voice give back the 
hollow echoes of her appeal ? Is there not, even in 
Bengal, one Aryan heart that can be touched with 
the fire from the sacred altars of religion ? Where 
is the Brahmin who is able, like his pure and holy 
forefather, to perform the AgniJiotra in the true 
way, and draw from the ambient sky the fire of 
Agni upon his kusa grass ? Where is the Brahmin 
who has the same fire in the hollow of his hand ? 
Alas ! no answer comes. There are thousands 



BASIS OF RELIGION. 129 

of Brahmins, but no adept AgniJiotris. Among 
these swarming millions, and amid this teeming 
life, the aspirant lor spiritual instruction finds 
scarcely a single Guru who can practically teach 
the Yoga science. Hundreds of bright young men 
are suffering from spiritual starvation. Can we 
help them ? Is there no hope to offer the youths 
who have learnt to regard modern science as the 
sole authority in questions of a religious and 
scientific nature ? For that is the ordeal that the 
advocates of Aryan philosophy must pass. It is 
useless to try and cover it up, or evade the alterna- 
tive : either we must prove Hinduism to stand 
upon the ground of science, or leave it to its 
fate. I think we can hold out this hope, and can 
give this assurance. I believe that modern research 
has arrived at certain facts which help us to under- 
stand our subject if we collate and adjust them to 
each other. And this brings us to consider the 
second part of our discourse — an explanation of 
the word Theosophy, and its application to the 
Yoga Vidya. 

Properly speaking, Theosophy may be defined as 
the knowledge of " Divine " wisdom. If there 
were a Western science of Psychology, worthy of 
the name, this would be its crowning glory ; the 
seeker after knowledge of the " soul " would end by 
becoming a Theosophist. For one can gain what 
is called Divine wisdom only in one way — through 
the development of the psychic powers. Religion 
is most strictly a personal affair : every man makes 



130 THEOSOPHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

his own religion and his own God : that is to say, 
if he has any idea at all about religion or God, they 
must be his own, not somebody's else ideas. 
Another man can no more think for you in these 
matters, so as to do you any good, than he can eat 
or sleep for you. You may think some man very 
great, and be ready to wash and garland and swing 
him like an idol, and eat the dust of his feet, and 
all that sort of thing ; and you may fancy that his 
commonest utterances are divinely inspired. You 
may call j'ourself a Tantrika, a Sivaite, a Vaish- 
nava, a Buddhist, or whatever you please. But, after 
all, when it comes to your actual religious experi- 
ence, it will be your experience, measured and 
limited hy your own personal, psychical and theoso- 
phical capacity. It is simply tyranny to try and 
force a particular religion upon any man. So, as I 
said before, religion is something personal ■; and it 
is also something sacred, something not to be 
rudely interfered with and pried into. The true 
moralist will exert his influence to make his fellow- 
men live up to the best features of their respective 
faiths ; it is the most audacious of experiments to 
try and glue together bits of a number of good re- 
ligions into a new mosaic. 

I shall not enter here into any discussion as to 
what is meant by the word " Soul." I have my 
ideas, and they may conflict with yours. Call it 
what you please, the only radical point to reach is the 
fact that in the nature of man there is this depart- 
ment which is called psychical, and which is not to 



BASIS OF A' ELI GI ON. 131 

be included in the most objective, or physical and 
mechanical part of the self. The orthodox psycho- 
logist will not concede you this point. He will meet 
you at the very threshold of the inquiry, and affirm 
that there is no more of man than is embraced in 
the ingenious mechanism of his body. The English 
poet, Pope, coined an expression to signify his 
scorn of a man who was devoid of great qualities — 
one who was 

** Fix'd, like a plant, to its peculiar spot, 
To draw nutrition, propagate and rot." 

But if you add to this the intellectual capacity as 
the result of cerebral function, have we not here the 
type of the " man " of modern Psychology ? What 
does that science make of the human being but a 
digestive, locomotive, procreating, and thinking 
mechanism ? Can you find anything better than 
this in the philosophy of Herbert Spencer and the 
entire a posteriori school ? I will ^\mq you a year 
to pore over Mr. Spencer's Principles of PsycJiology^ 
or over The Emotions and the Will, and The Senses 
and the Intellect, of Professor Bain (whom 
some of the greatest critics of our day consider as 
the master psychologist of the age), and then defy 
you to find the secret of true psychology ; 
or, if you choose, you may con the works of 
James Mill, Cousin, Locke, Kant, Hobbes, Hegel, 
Fichte, Huxley, Haeckel, John Stuart Mill, 
Comte, and all the learned writers of the kind. 
You will see a good deal of protoplasm, and pro- 
togen, and monads ; but you will not discover the 



132 THEOSOPHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

nature of " soul " in any of them. After wading 

through their heavy volumes, you will arrive at the 

conclusion that they are little better than obscura- 

tionists — intellectual clouds between you and the 

sun of spiritual truth. You will find some of them 

light, fleecy clouds, some so thin and vapoury as to 

let through a good deal of light ; others black and 

murky clouds, bursting with suppressed lightnings. 

If you go on far enough, you will see that these 

heavier intellectual masses, like the prototypes in 

Nature with which we are comparing them, will 

discharge their thunders at each other as they come 

into opposition, and then there is a great noise and 

heavy discharge of critical artillery. But the net 

result, after all is over, and you digest your notes 

and collect your confused thoughts, will be what I 

said — you will have puzzled your brain with a 

multitude of words and got no clear idea of 

Psychology. For they confuse the intellectual 

experiences of the human brain with the other and 

totally different experiences of the real Psyche ! 

And though they wrote ten times as many books, 

since they would all be written upon this false 

hypothesis, they would be no nearer the mark. 

These Western psychologists have, we may say, 

chopped man into minute shreds. There is not an 

atom of him (and by him I mean their " him," not 

the complete man), not a bone, muscle, nerve, 

cell, or ganglion, that they have not dissected, 

and fumbled over, and analysed. He has not a 

feeling, an emotion, a cognition — not a single or 



BASIS OF RELIGION. 133 

complex intellectual process — that they have not 
pulled about, weighed in the scales of logic, tested 
with the resolvents of reason, ticketed, and laid 
away in the psychological herbaria. But I defy 
the whole of them, from Locke to Bastian, and 
their whole army of followers, to show you one 
single discovery that explains the psychic pheno- 
mena whose occurrence has been observed in India 
from the remotest ages, and the laws of whose 
causation are explained in the Aryan Sastras. 
The earnest seeker after Divine wisdom — the 
true Theosophist — will turn away from western 
" authorities " with a sense of weariness and de- 
spair. To express it truthfully in one word, I must 
call the soul-science of the Aristotelians of the now 
dominant European school, subcuticular — skin-deep 
— Psychology, the psychology of what lies inside 
the human skin ! Their battles are all foiigJit tinder 
the epidermis ; they understand the psychological 
effect of external objects and phenomena upon the 
human mind ; but a transcuticular man is to them 
a scientific absurdity. Their man is acted upon 
centripetally by Nature, but does not react centri- 
fugally upon it. Asiatic philosophers recognize 
man as comprising three groups or divisions of self- 
hoodf Thtrc \s, first, Sthul Sharira — the physical 
— the grosser, more material, objective and per- 
ceptible ; second, Mayavi Rupa — the psychical, or 
less perceptible, though still material ; tJiird, the 
Atnia — the spiritual, or imperceptible and trans- 
cendental. With a minuteness of analysis that 



134 TIIEOSOPHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

matches that of the European ps}xhologists, they 
have again sub-divided these three groups into 
sub-sections. But there is this inestimable advan- 
tage on their side, that they prove their proposi- 
tions experimentally. When they talk of a 
" double," or Mayavi Riipa, or Stiks/una S/iarira, 
they produce the thing itself: they sliozu tJiemsclvcs 
to yoH ill their doubles. They will leave their 
physical bodies {StJinl Sharira) in saiiiadJu, a state 
of lethargy, at some distant place, force the 
" double " out through its pores, and to that trans- 
ferring their consciousness, with all its train of in- 
tellectual and intuitional cognitions and feelings, 
visit and make themselves visible to you. Fancy 
Professor Bain, or Mr. Mill, or I\Ir. Spencer, under- 
taking to argue on Psychology with a man in the 
Jllayavi Riipa ! \Miere would be then all their 
" quips and quilibets," their hard Greek and Latin 
terms, their speculative h}-potheses ? Until that 
moment, they would have thought themselves 
authorities, but now the spectres of their books 
would rise before them only in reproach. Their 
antecedent mental state, as contrasted with their 
present one, might be likened to that of a philo- 
sopher who had speculated upon the possibility of 
aerolites, but of a sudden had been hit hard by a 
fragment of one tumbling on him from the sky. 
Or we may take an example even more extreme. 
Let us suppose that great man and thinker, Mr. 
Spencer, sitting in his arm-chair at dusk in his library. 
He has been writing the seventeenth chapter of 



BASIS OF religion: 135 

the second volume of his Principles of Psychology, 
and has worked out the problem of the " Completed 
Differentiation of Subject and Object" to his per- 
fect satisfaction. He has satisfied himself that the 
phase of emotion is stimulated by memories of past 
experiences ; his hand has just traced these 
words : — " Such components of consciousness, 
pleasurable and painful, divisible into classes and 
sub-classes, differ greatly from the components 
thus far described ; being extremely vague, being 
unlocalizable in space, and being but indefinitely 
localizable in time " (op. cit. p. 467). He has de- 
scribed to us the effect produced upon his state of 
quiescence by hearing at his back a voice which he 
recognizes as the voice of a friend: and, as he tells 
us, " a wave of pleasurable feeling" upsets certain 
antecedent sets of " vivid states," known to him as 
the parts of his body, a feeling of muscular tension 
is excited, " the emotion felt goes on presently to 
initiate other muscular tensions, and after them 
special sounds " — he speaks. And now, his chapter 
finished and his pen thrown aside, he muses. A 
wonderful phenomenon occurs — one that has hap- 
pened to and been recorded by other great 
scholars. Out of the reasoning, analysing, digestive 
machine that the world, by visual, auditive, and 
tactual observations, recognize, as I\Ir. Spencer, 
oozes a whitish vapour which at first a cloud, con- 
denses into a man. It is not only a man but that 
very man, I\Ir. Spencer, his actual counterpart or 
" double," his Mayavi-nipa. At last it is fully 



136 THEOSOPIiy, THE SCIENTIFIC 

formed, and in the same degree as the Hght of in- 
telligence comes into its eyes, the same light 
diminishes in the eyes of the musing philosopher. 
The synthetic man, who but just now was building 
air-castles with walls and foundations of words, has 
divided into two parts, and the supreme intellectual 
activity, as well as the supreme consciousness of 
selfhood, is transferred to that part which is now 
outside the skin that was the philosopher's tiltima 
tJmle but just now. Can we not imagine what this 
new-born self would say to the heavier body before 
it ? Let it speak — " Here I am, and there you are, 
O man ! I am ego — self ; you a machine. You 
were my prison and jailer ; but see, I have escaped. 
Henceforth I leave you, I enter you, at will. You 
cannot detain me, you cannot ignore me, you sJiall 
not silence me. I am the conscious entity, you a 
vegetating mechanism of bones, and flesh and 
nerves. How now about your emotions and will, 
your grey-matter vesicles and your white-fibre 
telegraph lines? Come, philosopher, rouse your- 
self and debate with me. I would have you teach 
me psychology. You write learnedly about sub- 
ject and object. You have cleverly told your 
readers that you cannot frame any psychological 
conception without looking at internal co-existences 
and sequences in their adjustments to external co- 
existences and sequences {pp. cit., i. p. 133) : now 
here we are — you there with your thinking machi- 
nery inside, and I here, with my intellectual powers 
outside, the physical ]\Ir. Spencer. Come, since 



BASIS OF RELIGION. 137 

you are fond of sequences, follow me^ if you can, to 
the high plateau of the Himavat. There we shall 
find men who hiozv Psychology instead of dreaming 
about it ; men who are the successors of a thousand 
generations of Aryan and Hindu sages, who, all 
this time, have known what man is, and what his 
powers are. Your school of metaphysics, not yet a 
century old, is a thing of yesterday as compared 
with the hoary science of the Rishis, the Arahats, 
and the Medean Magi. In the pride of your re- 
cently enfranchised intellects, you Western biolo- 
gists and psychologists are trying to climb the sky 
of occult science, wherein alone can be found the 
truth about man and nature. Dull clod of earth, 
component of ashes and gases and water, it was I 
who illumined and inspired you ; I who gave you 
such intuitions of Divine wisdom as you had, de- 
spite the incubus of your vaunted reason ! I am 
iJie Spencer, you but my covering. You are of the 
ground ; I of the infinite and eternal essence of 
Nature ! " What can you answer — M.A. of the 
University of Calcutta — though you glitter with 
medals, and are clothed in honours as with a gar- 
ment ? Theory is one ' thing, fact another. Do 
you cling to the theory of Germany or of Edinburgh, 
when you can learn the fact at the asrainanis of 
the Neilgherries and the Himalayas ? 

Mr. John Stuart Mill {Dissertations and Discus- 
sions^ iii. 97) makes a bold assertion. He says: — 
" The sceptre of Psychology has decidedly returned 



138 THEOSOPIIY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

to this island " (Great Britain). Sceptre, indeed ! 
He talks as though it were some royal bauble, like 
the Koh-i-noor, that could be looted and sent home 
by a P. and O. Steamer ! The sceptre of Psycho- 
logy is wielded on the Himavat, and no modern 
empiric can clutch that rod of power, that staff of 
authority. The mesmerist knows something about 
Psychology, the modern spiritualist knows some- 
thing, and so does the student of Psychometry. 
Their knowledge is based upon experimental re- 
searcli. They may not be learned anatomists, 
morphologists, or biologists ; but, perhaps, they 
have a better idea of the whole nature of man than 
any of these. They have seen one from whom the. 
conscious Ego had stepped out, and left the bod}^ 
not a dead thing, but living, W\^ Jiv-Atma, or life- 
principle, being in it. The dull eye of the body, in 
which no intelligence shines ; the listless apathy 
and muscular relaxation ; the reduced temperature 
of flesh ; the stopped or fluttering heart — all these 
have convinced them that it is not the bodily me- 
chanism that is the real man ; and this conviction 
becomes a certainty when one has seen a body thus 
inert, and, at the same time, seen the double of the 
man moving about, with full consciousness, doing 
intelligently the acts of a responsible being, and in 
every way showing that the physical body is but a 
habitable mechanism, of itself unspiritual, if not 
altogether irresponsible. In the ordinary experi- 
ments of Mesmerism, when the patient is thrown 
into the state of ecstasis, one usually observes that 



BASIS OF RELIGION. I39 

the body has passed into a state whose physical 
appearances closly resemble death. I have stood 
by a person in this death-like lethargy, and found 
there was neither pulse, animal heat, nor breathy 
while, at the same time, the inner self of the ecstatic 
was apparently soaring in the supernal spheres, 
keenly alive to its rapturous experiences. In a 
book of mine {People from the Other World), which 
records my researches on the Eddy mediumistic 
phenomena, I have described the case of a 
Mrs. Compton, whom I saw in such a dead- 
alive condition, after one of the most marvellous 
seances on record. Well, this something that comes 
out of the human body is, in the judgment of 
occultists, the soul-principle — the responsible en- 
tity, the part of a man which, whether inside or 
outside the body, is that which acquires the 
certainty of Divine wisdom. It is this that be- 
comes the true Theosophist. And, as this is not 
restricted by the hard limits of creed, race, pre- 
judice, caste, and other external relations, which 
hedge about the material or physical man, you 
will observe that when this self is thoroughly freed 
from the restrictive environments of society, it must 
be free from our prejudices, hatreds and antipathies, 
of one sort or another. This is the part of a man that 
becomes an adept, and the very name of MaJiatnia 
(great soul), that you have called it by for countless 
generations, shows how well this has been under- 
stood in India. When the Yogi practises dharana, 
dhyan, and samadhi';^ it is for the purpose of getting 

*■ Three stages of self-induced ecstasy and trance. 



I40 TIIEOSOPHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

himself — that is his real self — disentans^led from 
the illusions of the bodily senses, which continually 
cheat us as to what is real and what unreal. He 
strives to evolve this astral self, and to purify that to 
the nearest possible approximation of absolute 
spirit. There are four stages of Yoga. In the first, 
the Yogi begins to learn the first forms of Yoga^ 
and to fight his battle with the animal nature. In 
the next, having learnt the forms, he advances 
towards perfect knowledge. In the third, the 
advance continues, and he overcomes all the 
primary and subtle forces — that is to say, he van- 
quishes the nature spirits, or elementals, resident in 
the four kingdoms of nature ; and neither fire can 
burn, water drown, earth crush, nor poisonous air 
suffocate, his bodily frame. He is no longer 
dependent upon the limited powers of the five 
senses for knowledge of surrounding Nature ; he 
has developed a spiritual hearing that makes the 
most distant and most hidden sounds audible, 
a sight that sweeps the area of the whole 
solar system, and penetrates the most solid bodies 
along with the hypothetical ether of modern science; 
he can make himself as buoyant as a thistle-down, 
or as heavy as the giant rock ; he can subsist with- 
out food for inconceivably long periods, and, if he 
chooses, can arrest the ordinary course of nature, and 
escape bodily death to an inconceivably protracted 
age. Having learnt the laws of natural forces, the 
causes of phenomena, and the sovereign capabilities 
of the human will, he may make " miracles " his 



BASIS OF RELIGION. 14T 

playthings, and do wonders that would take the con- 
ceit out of even a modern philosopher. He can walk 
upon water, without even wetting the soles of his 
feet ; or, sitting in dhyan, can, by inward concentra- 
tion, so change the magnetic polarity of his body 
that it will rise from the ground and be self-sus- 
pended in the air. Or, if he throws himself into 
the fourth and deepest state of abstraction, he 
will then have so withdrawn the life-principle from 
the outer to the inner surfaces of the body, that 
you may tie him in a sack and bury him under- 
ground for weeks together, and when dug up and 
rubbed and handled in a certain way, he will 
revive to perfect consciousness. Your distin- 
guished and honoured countryman. Dr. Rajend- 
ralala Mittra, tells me that when a boy, he 
saw the Sadhu (ascetic), whom some wood-choppers 
found in the Sunderbunds jungle, and brought up 
to Calcutta. He was found sitting, like a stiffened 
corpse, with his legs twisted through the roots of a 
tree. At Calcutta he unhappily fell into the hands 
of two fools, whose tipsy folly — as I am told, though 
I speak under correction^made them practically 
his murderers. Not able to arouse him by shout- 
ing, pushing, and beating, they put fire into his 
hand, and plunged him into deep water in the 
Ganges with a rope about his neck, as though he 
were a ship's anchor, and twice kept him there 
all night. They pried his tetanous jaws apart, 
put beef into his mouth, and poured brandy 
down his throat. Finally to prove their own 



142 THEOSOPHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

shamelessness, and to make their memory hateful for 
ever, this Hindu Rajah and this Enghshman set 
upon the poor saint whose emaciated body had 
been left by him, as he thought, in the safe solitude 
of the jungle, where tigers and serpents would not 
harm him, while his soul went out in search of 
Divine truth, these cruel, impious beasts set 
upon him an abandoned creature of the other 
sex to pollute him with her unholy touch ! Oh I 
shame upon such specimens of humanity ! By 
their cruel violence they finally awoke the 
Sadhu from his lethargy, and his first utterance 
was, not a curse upon his tormentors, not a burst 
of indignant invective, but a plaintive and reproach- 
ful cry, " O why, sirs, did you disturb me ; I had 
done you no harm ? " Shortly after he died from 
the effects of the food-poison they had forced into 
him. 

This happened some forty years ago. But do you 
suppose Calcutta is any better now, or a safer place 
for a real Sadhu to trust himself in ? I think not ; 
and, in my opinion, if any one of }'ou should want 
to find any better type of Yogi than the painted 
impostors who perambulate your streets, you will 
have to go far away from the city gates in search of 
him. 

At Lahore I met the son of a native gentleman, 
still residing in a neighbouring place, who was an 
eye-witness to the burial of a Sad/m, in the presence 
of Maharajah Runjit Singh — a case that has be- 
come historical. The particulars are given by Sir 



BASIS OF RELIGION, 143 

Claude Wade, the Political Resident, in his Camp 
and Court of Riinjit Singh, and by Dr. MacGregor, 
then Residency Surgeon, in his History of the Sikh 
War. This Sadhn was buried alive for forty days, a 
perpetual guard being kept, night and day, over the 
spot. The English officials saw him buried and 
also exhumed, and Dr. MacGregor gives a profes- 
sional diagnosis of the case. When uncovered, the 
man's body was shrunken and dried like a stick of 
wood ; the tongue, which at the burial had been 
turned back into the throat, had become like a 
piece of horn ; and eyes, ears, and every other 
orifice of the body, had been stopped with plugs of 
ghee (clarified butter). Upon returning to his 
external consciousness, the Sadhn told them that 
he had been enjoying the blissful society of Yogis 
and saints, and that if the Maharajah wished it, he 
was quite ready to be buried over again. 

There is — to say nothing of the Aryan and post- 
Aryan Sastras, which, as you know, are full of such 
things — a whole literature of Mysticism among the 
European nations, and the annals of the Christian 
Church teem with testimonies of ecstatics and 
visionaries who, escaping from the body while alive, 
have penetrated the inner world and seen divine 
things. No one can read the mystical literature of 
the Christian and other churches without beinor 
struck with the idea that the visions of an uninitiated 
seer are invariably mixed up with his own indivi- 
duality. His subjective prejudices and preconcep- 
tions give objective colour and shape to the objects 



144 THEOSOPHY, 7 HE SCIENTIFIC 

he encounters in his supra-physical life. The 
Christian sees the Heaven of his Apocalypse, or his 
Milton ; the Parsi, the Chinvat Bridge of Souls 
guarded by the dread Maiden and her dogs ; the 
Mussulman, the Gardens of the Blessed, with their 
houris and never-ending delights. Swedenborg, 
the Swedish seer, who developed his clairvoyance 
when past the middle age, and after he had 
devoted many years to scientific pursuits and 
religious thought, saw a system of correspondences 
which explained and illuminated, as he imagined, 
the dead-letter of the Bible, of whose divine 
authority he was already convinced. The visions 
of my almost life-long friend, Andrew Jackson 
Davis, have a similarly subjective character. 

In all these cases, the seer has not passed out of 
the circle of illusion, he has not yet come into the 
fourth stage of Yoga, as defined by Patanjali. In 
this fourth stage " the Yogi, loses all personality 
and all consciousness of separate existence ; all the 
operations of intellect become extinct, and spirit 
alone remains." The Moksha of the Hindu is this 
pure transcendental state indefinitely prolonged — 
an existence in which all the causes of sorrow beine 
absent, there can be no sorrow ; and the causes of 
illusions being left behind, there can be no illusion 
but the absolute truth is known in its unveiled 
splendour. The Theosophist is a man who, what- 
ever be his race, creed, or condition, aspires to 
reach this height of wisdom and beatitude by self- 
development ; and, therefore, you will see that in a 



8AS/S OF RELIGION. 145 

Theosophlcal Society like that we have founded — 
and which we hope many of you will join — to have 
one creed for our members to subscribe to, or one 
form of prayer for them to adopt, or an}^ rules that 
would interfere with their individual relations to 
caste, or any other social and external environment 
not actually antipathetic to Theosophical research, 
would be impossible. You will also infer that, de- 
spite the false statements or ignorant misconceptions 
of many of our critics, we are not preaching a new 
religion, or founding a new sect, or a new school 
of philosophy or occult science. The Hindu 
Sastras, the Buddhist Gathas, and the Zoroastrian 
Desatir, contain every essential idea that we have 
ever propounded, and our constant theme, these 
past seven years, has been that of my present dis- 
course, to wit, that Theosophy is the scientific and 
the only firm basis of religion. We deny that 
there is the slisj-htest conflict between true reliG^ion 
and true science. We deny that any religion can 
be true that does not rest upon scientific lines, and 
we affirm that the outcome of scientific research 
will be to set religion upon such an eternal founda- 
tion, by breaking down the thick mystery of matter 
and tracing force up into that everlasting and im- 
mutable principle, called Motion by some. Spirit 
by some, and Farabrahnta by the Vedantists. 
Theosophical research, therefore, is the prop 
and stay both of religion and science ; and by 
ignoring all those causes which keep men apart, 
and arm brother against brother, it is a promoter of 



146 THEOSOPHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

peace and harmony among men — in short, of Uni- 
versal Brotherhood. 

A great noise has ahvays been made about 
certain striking phenomena which have occurred, 
not only in the presence of the mystics and saints 
of different religious sects above mentioned, but 
also in connexion with the Thcosophical Society. 
Minds, empty of healthy philosophical thought, 
hanker after the marvellous. Many such have 
joined our Society in the hope of seeing wonders, 
and even of obtaining siddhis (powers), without 
the usual training. Such are always, of neces- 
sity, foredoomed to disappointment. There is 
no royal road to Geometry. The Occult Science 
may be learnt by different methods, and by any 
one who can find a teacher, provided he has the 
necessary psycho-physiological qualifications in him- 
self. For this department of research does exact 
very peculiar aptitudes. Can you learn law, 
medicine, theology, chemistry, astronomy, or any 
other science embraced in the college curriciiliLni, 
without the special mental capacities that each 
demands ? You know that to be impossible ; 
and that even where the mental capacity is 
not wanting, it takes time, patience and close 
thought and application, to master your sub- 
ject. There is not a professor, however emi- 
nent, who does not continue a student of his 
specialty to the very day of his death. Come, 
then, foolish man, do you imagine that Theo- 
sophy, this science of sciences, which unlocks for 



BASIS OF RELIGION. 147 

you the corridors of nature and ushers you Into 
the blazing splendour of absolute Truth, is less 
difficult than any of these pettier branches of 
knowledge? Do you think that in a few weeks, or 
months or years, you can pierce the veils of the 
mysteries, while you are keeping on in your round 
of worldly occupations, indulging your animal plea- 
sures,cow^eringbeforeyoursocIal prejudices, and wrap- 
ping your nobler self in the tainted body of Ignoble 
desires ? The mere seeing of phenomena does no 
good except to a mind which has already obtained 
a thorough understanding of philosophy. This the 
Yogi knows so well that he does not allow himself 
to be diverted by them, even when produced by 
himself, from his ultimate object of reaching the 
fourth stage of Yoga. Patanjali says that even in 
the third stage the Yogi Is liable to be overcome ; 
and even in the last, which is sub-divided into seven 
stages, he is not wholly safe from the " local gods," 
nor will be so till he has advanced beyond the fifth 
of these seven. In the course of training, adopted 
among certain mystics of Tibet, there are seven 
stages of an ascending series, and each of these is 
sub-divided into nine sub-stages. But whatever 
the training, there Is the same object — emancipation 
from Illusion and attainment of Theosophical know- 
ledge. The untrained seers and religious ecstatics 
we have noticed above, as having visions of a 
partially subjective character, are all beneath the 
fourth stage of Yoga. Their delusions result from 
their lack of training. They see a spiritual light 



148 THE OS PHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

but through a smoky glass: Patanjali's methods 
having been unknown to them, they have not de- 
veloped their psychic powers by dharana and d/iyan, 
that is, by " restraint of the mind," and " spiritual 
meditation." Hence, their actual psychic percep- 
tions are mixed up with their intellectual pre-con- 
ceptions ; as the Scripure has it — they " see through 
a glass darkly." 

So we arrive at this point at last. If Psychology 
is a science, — and Psychology includes the learning 
of divine wisdom — then this search after religious 
truth is the scientific basis of religion. Theosophy, 
therefore, is the scientific basis of religion, for this 
research is Theosophy. I think this is plain enough, 
and I cannot see how any reasonable man, of what- 
ever creed or sect, could put himself in antagonism to 
us. If his sect or his bigotry is more precious to him 
than the learning of the truth, of course we need 
not areue with him. He could not understand us, 
or, if he could, he would not admit it. Perhaps, in 
his petulant dissatisfaction, he might even accuse 
us of falsehood. One of these sect-leaders said, 
the other day, in a Calcutta paper, that the study 
of occultism and spiritualism only pandered to 
" vain curiosity ; " that " men will not believe in 
God and immortality, but they will believe in any 
amount of spirit-rapping and occultism." I could 
not offer you a better example of the spirit just 
described — a spirit which would have us put aside 
science and investigation of natural law, and 
blindly take on faith what any would-be leader 



BASJS OF RELIGION. 149 

chooses to tell us. '' The more " — says this gentle- 
man, himself an avowed religious teacher, — " a man 
is found to disbelieve in the natural and legitimate 
objects of faith, the more inclined he is to put his 
trust in all manner of magic, witchcraft, and 
spiritualism." What is the use of arguing with a 
mind like that ? The little world of illusion in 
which it lives is quite enough to satisfy its every 
desire ; if it thinks it can find emancipation in it, let 
it try. Of one thing such people are most certainly 
ignorant, and that is of the spirit of the nineteentJi 
century. The day of blind faith has gone by, 
never, I hope, to return. If we are to have any re- 
ligion — and every man of moral feeling longs for 
some religious convictions — it must be one that is 
in reconciliation with science and natural law. We 
are no longer inclined to catch up our religions, 
as though they were made of glass, and run 
for shelter behind the rampart of " faith," every 
time a Darwin or a Spencer throws a stone at 
them. The men who desire to prohibit our look- 
ing into the mysterious operations of Nature, are 
the lineal descendants of the theological doctors of 
Galileo's time. Some of these professors of Pisa 
and Padua behaved so absurdly about this theory 
of the heliocentric system that he has held them 
up to an immortality of ridicule in a letter to 
Kepler. " Oh ! my dear Kepler," he writes, " how 
I wish we could have a hearty laugh together. 
Here at Padua, is the principal professor of 
philosophy, whom I have repeatedly and urgently 



ISO THEOSOPHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

invited to look at the moon and planets through 
my glass, which he pertinaciously refuses to do. 
Why are you not here ? What shouts of laughter 
we should have at this glorious folly, and to hear 
the philosopher at Pisa labouring before the Grand 
Duke with logical arguments as if, with magic in- 
cantations, to draw the new planets out of the 
sky ! " Dr. James Esdaile, from the Preface to 
whose work on Natural and Mesmeric Clairvoyance , 
I copy this quotation, is the Residency Surgeon, 
who (under the patronage of Lord Dalhousie, then 
Governor-General of India), established a Mesmeric 
Hospital here at Calcutta, in 1846, at which 
were performed painlessly some hundreds of sur- 
gical operations upon mesmerised patients. His 
noble devotion to truth and purely philanthropic 
labours provoked the enmity and spite of his profes- 
sional colleagues. They behaved towards him with 
the same vindictive malice as some editors, 
preachers, and laymen have shown to the Theoso- 
phical Society. But he kept on with his work, despite 
all obstacles, until the use of mesmeric anesthesia was 
superseded by the application of chloroform to 
surgery. Dr. Esdaile lived down opposition, and 
was enabled to say in 1852, as the result of per- 
sonal experience, that " like the camomile plant. 
Mesmerism only flourishes the more for being 
trodden upon." Theosophy seems to enjoy the 
same vital elasticity, for we have just seen that 
the unceasing ardent opposition of the missionaries 
from my own'countr\%instead of crushing it (as their 



BASIS OF religion: 151 

party hoped), has done it a world of good. A 
Christian himself, and without a trace of infidelity 
in his opinions, Dr. Esdaile scouts the idea of the 
study of Mesmerism promoting atJicisni; and, 
though he gives no sign of knowing the connexion 
of his idea with Vedantism or Yoga, he says 
that by this research the life of man '' will pro- 
bably be found to be only a modification of the 
vital agent which pervades the Universe." Thence, 
he says, we may "come to understand the astound- 
ing sympathies and affinities sometimes developed 
between the organic and inorganic world, and be 
led to suspect the possibility of the finite mind of 
man passing for a time into relation with the in- 
finite, and thereby receiving impressions otherwise 
than by the senses which regulate and circumscribe 
our knowledge of surrounding nature in our 
normal state of existence." These arc the wise 
words of a true philosopher, and I may add, a true 
Christian, in the better sense of the word. Mes- 
merism — a modern European discovery of an old 
Asiatic science — is the key to the mystical phenomena, 
of the Hindu Sastras. Young gentleman of the 
University, remember this, and withhold }'our flip- 
pant scepticism about your ancestral faith until at 
least you have mastered this subject. Yes, in 
Mesmerism is balm for the heart of the searcher 
after the hidden truth of Aryan philosophy. 

Look, if you please, at this engraving. It is from 
a little work published two years ago at Lahore bv 
Sabhapathy Swami. It represents the system of 



152 THEOSOPHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

psychic development, by Raj Yoga. Here is traced 
a series of lines and circles upon the naked body of 
a man sitting in the posture of Padmdsan^ and 
practising Yoga. The triple line passes down the 
front of the head and body, making the circles at 
certain points — viz.^ over the vomer, or nasal cavity, 
the mouth, the root of the throat, the heart, the 
umbilicus and the spleen. The artist, to bring 
the whole system into one view, traces for us the 
parts of the line and circles that would be out of 
sight, such as that over the lower end of the spinal 
column, the line up the spine, and over the cere- 
bellum and cerebrum, until it unites with the front 
line. This is the line travelled by the will of 
the Yogi in his process of psychic development. 
He, as it were, visits each of the centres of vital 
force in turn, and subjugates them to dependence 
upon the will. The circles are the ckakras, or cen- 
tres of forces, and when he has traversed the en- 
tire circuit of his corporeal kingdom, he will have 
perfectly evolved his inner self — disengaged it 
from its natural state of commixture with the 
outer shell, or physical self His next step is to 
project this "double" outside the body, trans- 
ferring to it his complete consciousness, and then, 
having passed the threshold of his carnal prison- 
house, into the world of psychic freedom, his 
powers of sight, hearing, and other senses are 
indefinitely increased, and his movements no 
longer trammelled by the obstacles which impede 
those of the external man. Do not understand 



BASIS OF religion; 153 

me as saying that this is the only method of 
psychic evokition ; there are others than PatanjaH's, 
and some better ones. The highest form of Yoga 
— to employ that as a generic term — is one by 
which there is rather a moral than a physical or 
semiphysical training and evolution, and, as I con- 
ceive, by this process the ascetic sooner and more 
perfectly breaks through the wall of Maya, or illu- 
sion, than he can by Patanjali's methods. 

Perhaps, some physiologists in this audience may 
feel inclined to deny that consciousness can be 
thus transferred from the sensorium in the brain 
to other parts of the body. Should such be here, 
I will ask them to refer to the Zoist, to Professor 
Weinholt's Lecture on Somnambidism, to the 
Breslau Medical Collections, to Dr. Bertrand's 
Treatise on Soninanibnlism, to Dr. Petetin's 
Electricity Animale, to the Proceedings of the 
Philosophical Society of Lausanne, to the Re- 
port of Signori Corini, Visconti and Mazzacorati, 
of a case in the Hospital della Vita at Bologna, to 
Dr. Esdaile's and Professor William Gregory's 
works. In these, and in scores of others I might 
mention, it will be seen that in certain morbid states 
• of the nervous system, especially catalepsy and 
hysteria, the senses of hearing, sight, taste and touch 
are localized at the pit of the stomach, the finger-tips, 
the soles of the feet and the back of the head. I 
do not claim any- special weight for my own tes- 
timony, but still, as one always likes to have parole 
evidence when possible, I may tell you that I have 



154 THEOSOPin, THE SClENflFIC 

seen examples of some of those psycho-physiologi- 
cal phenomena. Not to dwell upon othrrs,* I will 
mention but a single case— that of an American girl 
of ten years old, the daughter of a friend of mine. 
This charming little child would, in her waking state, 
read any book,print or writing,! heldagainst theback 
of her head. The faculty, which she accidentally 
discovered, left her after a couple of years, without 
apparent cause. Now, if Nature thus spontaneously 
offers us examples of the higher mesmeric and 
other psychic phenomena, their possibility is by 
Nature herself proven. The only remaining question 
is whether the Yogi or other mystic can, by intense 
concentration of his will upon a certain centre of" 
vital activity, voluntarily excite an identical condi- 
tion. And that he can, I know to a certainty. 

I have spoken of Baron von Reichenbach's mas- 
terly work : here it is. I affirm that this record of 
five years' experiments of an Austrian chemist of 
the first eminence contains in itself a master-key 
to Aryan psychological phenomena. That Reich- 
enbach probably never read a single Sastra, or 
o-ave himself one moment's concern about Patan- 
jali, does not in the least detract from the value of 
his researches. You see the silvery nimbus or . 
£loud about the head of the Yogi in Sabhapathy 
Swami's book, and here I show you pictures of the 

* A year later, upon revisiting Calcutta, I had the good fortune 
to witness a striking case of the kind. A young Hindu married 
lady, suffering from hysteria, was able to read books and distinguish 
colours when held to her finger-tips, the little toe and the elbow, and 
to hear at the umbilicus. 



BASIS OF RELIGION, 155 

Hindu Gods, Siva and Krishna, with their Parvatis, 
Radhas, and Gopis. Around the head of each is 
the same aureole. These are not sketched after the 
conceptions of some modern artist ; they represent 
the popular idea of hundreds and thousands of 
years ago. And now I show you a similar picture, 
by a Christian artist, of a Christian saint — where the 
same glory, and of a transcendent brightness, is de- 
picted. In Buddhist temples the image of the recum- 
bent Buddha lying in the divine ecstasisjias a flam- 
ing aureole of this kind about the head and body ; 
the lines of colour not standing out like spikes, but 
wavy, like the coruscating splendours of the auroras 
of the North and South Poles. In the Bactrian 
rock-cut image of Zoroaster, which is assumed to 
give, perhaps, the nearest idea of a personal like- 
ness of that splendid seer, the same idea of a glory 
about the head is carried out.^" 

Now whence did the Hindu, the Buddhist, the 
Parsi, and the Christian, get this impression that the 
head of a spiritual leader must radiate lights ? 
Shall I surprise you vvhen I say that we may find 
tlie answer in this book of Reichcnbach ? Look 
at this illustration. This figure B represents the 
actual luminous appearance of the human head, as 
seen by one of a class of persons of acute nervous 
sensitiveness with whose help the author made his 

* Later a Buddhist monk presented me with a vejy curious small 
silver figure of Lord Buddha in the erect position, with the aureole re- 
presented as surrounding him from head to foot. And with it is, 
moreover, an identical duplicate, which represents the projected 
Double or Phantasm of that trreat teacher. 



156 THEOSOPIIY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

researches. Repeated experiments with over fifty 
such subjects demonstrated that the human system, 
in common with every animate and inanimate 
natural object, and with the whole starry heavens, 
is pervaded with a subtle aura, or, if you please, 
imponderable fluid, wdiich resembles magnetism 
and electricity in certain respects, and yet is analo- 
cfous wath neither. He called it Od, or Odyle. 
This aura, while radiating in a faint mist from all 
parts of the body, is peculiarly bright about the 
head. These two spots of light are the eyes, and 
this third one is the mouth. Now this picture 
represents the aura of a young married lady ; and 
we have only to imagine to ourselves — as we may 
from all the analogies of nature — how this aura 
would be intensified by enormous concentration of 
the wall, to comprehend readily the intuition which 
first suggested the artistic conception of the aureole. 
In fact, we find that Reichenbach was anticipated 
by the Aryans in the knowledge of the Odic aura."^ 
But all the same, it should be remembered that we 
mieht never have understood what the nimbus about 
Krishna means, but for this Vienna chemist. 

I must not pass on towai'ds my conclusion 
before showing you that we can get some instruc- 
tion from Reichenbach upon certain Brahminical 
customs prescribed by the Sastras, but which I 
have not yet found even one Brahmin to explain. 

* In the Atharva Veda, a work of enormous antiquity, mention is 
made of the existence of a sensitive aura, of a span's widtli, about 
the human body. 



BASIS OF RELIGION-. 157 • 

You have had two kinds of Brahminlcal customs 
handed down, one primitive and essential, the other 
secondary and non-essential ; customs and practices 
no doubt invented by cunning priests to save pro- 
fitable vested rights, when the" caste had begun to 
lose its original spirituality. When Brahmins sit 
to eat, every man is isolated from his neighbours 
at the feast. He sits in the centre of a square 
traced upon the floor, grandsire, father and son, 
brother and uncle, avoiding contact with each other 
quite as scrupulously as though they were of 
different castes. If I should handle a Brahmin's 
brass platter, his lotah or other vessel for food or 
drink, neither he nor any of his caste would touch 
it, miuch less eat or drink from it, until it had been 
passed through fire : if the utensil were of clay, it 
must be broken. Why is this ? That no affront 
is meant by avoidance of contact is shown in the 
careful isolation of members of the same family 
from each other. The explanation, I submit, is 
that every Brahmin was supposed to be an indi- 
vidual evolution of psychic force, apart from all 
consideration of fam.ily relationship ; if one touched 
the other at this particular time, when the vital 
force was actively centred upon the process of 
digestion, the psychic force was liable to be drawn 
off, as a Leyden jar charged with electricity is dis- 
charged by touching it with your hand. The 
Brahmin of old was an initiate, and his evolved 
psychic power was employed in the agnihotra and 
other ceremonies. The case of the touching of the 



1-58 THEOSOPHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

eating or drinking vessel, or the mat or clothing 
of a Brahmin by one of another caste, of inferior 
psychic development, or the stepping of such a 
person upon the ground, within a certain prescribed 
distance from the sacrificial spot, bear upon this 
question. In this same plate of Reichen- 
bach's, the figure F represents the aura, streaming 
from the points of the human hand. Every 
human being has such an aura, and the aura 
is peculiar to himself or herself, as to quality 
and volume. Now the aura of a Brahmin of the 
ancient times was purified and intensified by a 
peculiar course of religious training — let us say 
psychic training ; and if it should be mixed with 
the aura of a less pure, less spiritualized person, its 
strength would of necessity be lessened, its quality 
adulterated. Reichenbach tells us that the Odic 
emanation is conductible by metals, more slowly 
than electricity, but more rapidly than heat, and that 
pottery and other clay vessels absorb and retain it 
for a long while. Heat he found to enormously 
increase quantitatively the flow of Odyle through a 
metal conductor. The Brahmin, then, in submit- 
ting his odylically-tainted metallic vessel to the fire, 
is but experimentally carrying out the theory 
of Reichenbach. I will not, however, enlarge 
upon a branch of my subject which might well be 
made the theme of a series of lectures. The 
gathering obscurity of the twilight warns me to be 
as brief as thebreadthof our theme and its novelty to 
you permit, as also does the fear that I may have 



BASIS OF RELIGION. i59 

already overtaxed your patience. I iiiiist avail 
myself of the few remaining minutes at my dis- 
posal to say something more specific about the 
Theosophical Society. 

The Society has no endowment, its current 
expenses being met, as far as practicable, out of an 
Initiation Fee often rupees. The deficiency is made 
good by Madame Blavatsky and myself, out of our 
private resources. Our printed rules define the 
objects of our organization to be : — 

I. — To form the nucleus of a Universal 
Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of 
race, creed, or colour. 

2. — To promote the study of Aryan and 
other Eastern literature, religions, and sciences, and 
vindicate its importance. 

3. — To investigate the hidden mysteries of 
nature and the psychical powers in man. 

I have touched upon these sufficiently, I hope, to 
made it clear that our Society has not one feature 
of sectarianism in it ; that it regards religion as a 
personal matter ; that its founders do not believe 
that any actual knowledge can be obtained of 
Divine things except through psychical develop- 
ment ; that it has not a shadow of political char- 
acter ; that it is neither a propaganda nor a special 
antagonist of any particular faith ; that its influence 
must be in the direction of piety, personal purifica- 
tion, unselfishness, and patriotism, in the noblest 
sense of that much abused word. Finally, you 
must infer that instead of undervaluing Western 



i6o THEOSOPHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

culture and scientific research, we have a thorough 
appreciation of the importance of both. 

The question between you and myself at this 
present moment is whether you will take an active 
practical interest in our work, and help us to make 
Bengal what it ought to be, in virtue of its tradi- 
tions and its world-wide reputation for intellectual, 
metaphysical, and scientific capacity, the centre of 
a Theosophic revival that shall thrill all India 
with the promise of a new spiritual era. I am not 
asking you to draw the rusty sword of Luxman 
Sen from its scabbard and deluge your land in 
blood. It is not war that India wants, but peace, — ■ 
peace todevelop her prostrate industries; peace to im- 
prove her agriculture, and to re-adjust her population 
to her territory, drawing away the surplus where it 
is overcrowding the land, and settling it in districts 
where labour can find vacant land and employment ; 
peace to remove all obstructive barriers, and knit 
the races of the Peninsula into a brotherly and 
reciprocally profitable union ; peace to foster the 
love of art, which was once so high that the land 
is filled with monuments which excite the world's 
wonder ; peace to found Sanskrit schools wherever 
they flourished in the olden time, so that once more 
the treasures of Indian literature may be known, 
and this present foul reproach of ignorance of our 
Sastras may be removed ; and peace, that there 
may be born a generation of unselfish patriots, in 
place of the present one, which I need not describe : 
a generation which will esteem it the highest 



BASIS OF RELIGION. i6i 

happiness, as well as the highest honour, to forget 
self, and to work for the public good. Ay, " peace 
hath its victories as well as war." I have not come 
here to ask you to give us money, or to erect great 
temples of Theosophy, to stand as laughing-stocks 
of human vanity for the warning of future genera- 
tions. I am not asking you to overturn the altars of 
your faith to make room for the hybrid erections of 
ignorant iconoclasts. I do not ask you to trample 
under the feet of pert criticism the sacred literature 
of your forefathers, and to substitute for the majestic 
rhythm and profound thought of its slokas, the 
crude rhapsodies of modern ideologists. I am not 
asking the educated among you to put aside the 
science your masters of the College have taught 
you, nor to tear up the diplomas which are the certi- 
ficates of your industry and culture. I am not come 
to tear down the purdahs behind which the lustful 
violence of your conquerors obliged you to hide 
your beloved mothers and sisters, wives and 
daughters. I am quite content to leave time to work 
its own changes, and to the increasing good sense 
of the Hindus the cure of all evils and the extirpa- 
tion of all abuses. 

But I stand here as the unworthy mouthpiece of 
ancient India, to speak a word of appeal on her 
behalf into the ears of the present generation. 
Since science has proved that your race and mine 
boast a common parentage, and that the streams of 
Aryan and European civilization flowed from a 
single fount, I speak by right of heritage for the 



l62 THEOSOPHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

claims of Aryan philosophy. If you will it, we 
may together work in fraternal concord, and to- 
gether snatch from the oblivion of neglect the 
science of Divine Truth, the Wisdom-Religion of 
archaic times. We care not what may be the name 
of your Samaj ; if you are working for India, we 
will work with you. 

The Mahimnastava, a hymn to Siva, daily 
chanted by the Brahmins (for an English transla- 
tion of which I am indebted to my venerable friend, 
Babu Rajnarain Bose), expresses a sentiment which 
I should like every modern Hindu to take to heart. 
It mirrors the spirit of our Society, and is as 
follows : — 

" As the Ocean is the goal of all rivers, so Thou art the ultimate 
goal of different paths, straight or devious, which men follow, 
according to their different tastes and inclinations." 

I am asked how we shall set about this task, 
how to learn Occultism without teachers, and 
without text-books that we can read. For just 
such emergencies as these men always arise : we 
must create the teachers and compile the books. 
Meanwhile we must turn to a quarter where we 
need never seek in vain. There is a teacher within 
us who waits for us to unlock his prison-doors and 
set him free. That teacher is our veritable Ego, 
our Inner Self We can reach him by holy lives, 
abstract meditations, and the evolution of the 
powers of will. More than one road will lead us to 
the Adytum wherein he dwells ; for adeptship is of 
no one creed, and is the life of all faiths. Look at 



BASIS OF RELIGION, 163 

the prescribed methods of training under different 
systems, and you will find that while they differ as to 
formulas, they resemble each other in essentials. 
First, the man must be pure — in body, mind and 
aspiration. Second, the place chosen must be pure— 
in atmosphere and surroundings. It must also be 
quiet and safe. Third, the diet must be simple, 
digestible, and taken in as moderate quantities as 
the preservation of bodily health permits. The 
would-be adept must have physical stamina, for 
concentration makes a great drain upon vital force 
And the experience of mediums shows that 
mediumship, except in the highest form of mental 
impressibility, is usually concomitant with a scrofu- 
lous or phthisical taint in the blood. Fourth, the 
motive must be a noble and unselfish desire for 
Divine wisdom ; and, lastly, the practice must be 
gradual and cumulative. Given these, and one 
may be sure of attaining his end — that of develop- 
ing into an adept Theosophist. 

My task is finished, my word spoken. It remains 
with you to crown our effort with practical success, 
or to suffer my voice to pass profitlessly, in widen- 
ing ripples of sound, out into the ocean of air. 
Remember only that what can be done to-day 
may be impossible tomorrow. Neglect has 
brought Hinduism to its present pass. Neglect 
has reduced the Brahmin Pundits already to a con- 
dition little better than that of half-starvation or 
genteel beggary. If they would not expose them- 
selves to the rude rebuffs of the bazaar, and jostle 



i64 THEOSOFHY, THE SCIENTIFIC 

with a crowd of painted impostors, who masquerade 
as Sadhtis to cheat the charitable, and secretly give 
loose rein to their bestial natures — they must seek 
Government employment, and convert themselves 
into clerical automata. Their once famous schools 
are now only a memory, and their once grand debates 
on philosophy at the courts of kings survive only 
in legendary story. A wave of practicalism is 
sweeping away the last vestiges of Hindu origin- 
ality, engulfing the fairest relics of Aryan greatness, 
as the muddy overflow from the crater Kilauea 
swallows up the trees and villages upon its slopes. 
Nesflect and sottish laziness have done all this. A 
few years — or perhaps a few generations more — and 
the foreign boot will be on every Hindu foot, the 
foreign brandy-bottle in every Hindu hand, and what 
is a thousand times worse, the foreign heart will be 
beating in every Hindu body, for love of country 
and religion will have all died out. Are you pre- 
pared to face this doom ? Does there yet burn in 
any corner of your breast a spark of that noble pride 
and self-respect that made the Aryan man ennoble 
by his personal virtues the Aryan name? If you 
would arrest the tide of national demoralization 
that is rushing through the brandy-shop and the 
opium-den, you must set up again the old moral 
standards, and teach your children to live up to 
them. You can save your nationality and regain your 
spiritual-mindedness, or you can impiously see them 
swept, by the torrent of pretended " Progress," into 
the Kala Pani of commercial expediency. Some 



BASIS OF RELIGION. 165 

of your best men thought India had already 
reached that stage, for they wrote me, two years 
ago, from Bengal, that we Theosophists had come 
too late. India was dead, and hope extinguished. 
But I said No, and I say so now ; a nation is never 
dead while one single patriot son survives. For he 
alone, by an extraordinary moral grandeur and 
spiritual insight, may re-infuse the vanished life 
into the decrepit frame, and laying his holy hand 
upon his mother's heart, cause it to beat again. 
No, Aryavarta, queen-mother of nations, is not 
dead. Her altar-fires burn feebler every year, and 
the recollection of her spiritual triumphs has become 
a tradition of a by-gone time. Yet it is not too 
late for her children to labour for her, and sacrifice 
themselves for her dear sake. 

The sacrifice will not be profitless, the labour not 
in vain. Remember and take heart from what an 
English poet has written : — 

*' Dejected India, lift thy downcast eyes, 

And mark the hour whose steadfast steps for thee 
From Time's press'd ranks brings on the Jubilee." 



THEOSOPHY: ITS FRIENDS AND 

ENEMIES.* 



Complying with the good custom of all societies 
that are really working for the general good, though 
the latter merit is denied us by some, we now, 
a third time, come before the Bombay public 
to give an official account of ourselves. Our 
anniversary meeting should have been held last 
November, and would, but that we were then far 
away in the Punjab, and did not return to Bombay 
until the last day of the old year. Having thus 
unavoidably missed the usual time, we thought 
it best to wait until we could celebrate the anniver- 
sary of the arrival of our party in India. That 
event, so important to us — I wish I could add, 
possibly to the country, as regards its future results 
— occurred on Sunday, February i6th, 1879, and I 
am here to tell you how it has fared with us during 
the two years that have since passed. I will do my 
best to ... . 

" nothing extenuate, nor aught set down in malice." 

We only ask that those who love and those who 
hate us, will alike be governed by the same feeling 
of moderation. For, to tell you the plain truth, we 

* A Lecture delivered at the Framji Cowasji Institute, Bombay, 

27th February, iS8i. 



ITS FRIENDS AND ENEMIES. 167 

have suffered quite as much, if not more, from the 
extravagant expectations and ideas of our friends, 
as from the maUce and falsehood of our enemies. 
The former have rushed to as great extremes in one 
direction, as the latter have in another. We have 
been kept quite as busy in recovering ground we ought 
never to have lost, and should never have lost if 
our sympathisers had been reasonable, as in defend- 
ing ourselves and our cause from the plots and 
assaults of those who wished for our defeat. I have 
tried, in many public addresses, to define our exact 
responsibility to the Indian nation. I have done 
my best to show exactly what it had, and what it 
had not, a right to demand of us. I have ex- 
plained over and over again, what the Hindus had 
themselves to do, if they really cared to snatch 
their nationality from the gulf of perdition into 
which it has been plunging headlong, these many 
centuries. I have tried to make Young India see 
that there can be no real moral reform that does 
not come from their own united effort ; and that no 
foreigner, though he love the conntry ever so much 
and be ready to sacrifice ever so much for it, can 
relieve her own sons of the smallest portion of that 
duty. Many whom I see around me in this audience 
heard my first address to the country, from this same 
platform, on 23rd March, 1879. I ask these 
to remember how earnestly I tried on that occasion 
to impress this solemn conviction upon the native 
mind. Among other things I said : — " If India is 
to be regenerated, it must be by Hindus, who can 



i6S THEOSOPHY, 

rise above their castes and every other reactionary 
influence, and give good example as well as good 
advice. Useless to gather into Samajes, and talk 
prettily of reform. Not of such stuff are the 
saviours of nations made." Did you hear me putting 
ourselves up as the would-be leaders of Hindu re- 
generation, as exemplars of virtue or patterns 
of v/isdom ? No, a thousand times no : I said 
our chief and sole desire was to help India and her 
people, " in any way practicable, however humble,* 
without meddling with politics, into which, as 
foreigners, we "had neither the right nor inclina- 
tion to intrude." With the cry of one who sees 
danger hovering over those he sympathises 
with, and would have them make an effort to 
save themselves, I said : — " Here is material for a 
new school of Aryan philosophy which only waits 
the moulding hand of a master. We cannot yet 
hear his approaching footsteps, but he will come ; as 
the man always does come when the hour of destiny 
strikes. He will come, not as a disturber of the 
peace, but as the expounder of principles, the in- 
structor in philosophy. He will encourage study, 
not inflame passion. He will scatter blessings, not 
sorrow. So Zoroaster came, so Gautama, so Con- 
fucius. O for a Hindu, great enough in soul, wise 
enough in mind, sublime enough in courage, to pre- 
pare the way for the coming of this needed Re- 
generator ! O for one Indian of so grand a mould 
that his appeals to his countrymen would fire every 
heart with a noble emulation to revive the glories 



ITS FRIENDS AND ENEMIES. 169 

of that by-gone time when India poured out her 
people into the empty lap of the West, and gave 
the arts and sciences, and even language itself, to 
the outside world ! " And that I foresaw that the 
work, even if begun at once, must take long to yield 
the desired results, is shown in these further re- 
marks : — " Do not imagine that I have the idle 
notion that India can be reformed in a day. This 
once enlightened, monotheistic and active people 
have descended step by step, in the course of many 
centuries, from the level of Aryan activity to that 
of idolatrous lethargy and fatalism. It will be the 
work not of years but of generations to re-ascend 
the steps of national greatness. But there must be 
a beginning. Those sons of Hindustan who are 
disposed to act rather than preach, cannot com- 
mence a day too soon. This hour the country 
needs your help." 

So, too, I may refer you to the address I de- 
livered, on November 29th, at the celebration of 
our fourth anniversary, when I again recurred to the 
subject. "We do not ask you to be our followers," 
I said, "but our allies. Our ambition is not to be 
considered leaders, or teachers ; not to make money, 
or power or fame. Choose any man here, of either 
of the old races represented, and show us that he 
is the right man to lead in either branch of this 
reformatory movement, and I will most gladly en- 
list as a common soldier under him." But this idea 
of the necessity for personal effort does not seem to 
have as yet impressed itself upon the public mind. 



170 THEOSOPH\, 

Some would force us to accept without remonstrance 
the imputation that we want to push ourselves into 
the attitude of leaders, to ape the state of Alex- 
ander, who — Dryden tells us, in St. Cecilia s Day — 

"Assumes to nod, 
Affects the god, 
And seems to shake the spheres." 

— and that if we do not at least attempt to lead, or 
to exhibit all the qualities, intellectual and moral, 
of the ideal leader, we must confess that we have 
not made good our claims. But again, for the 
twentieth time, I protest, and, in the presence of 
this multitude, declare that the moral Regenerator 
of Aryavarta will be no European, but must be a 
son of the soil, and no one else ! It is only too 
evident I say, too sadly so, that a vague notion has 
gained wide currency that we, Theosophists, must 
straightway bind up all the gaping wounds in the 
body of this hapless India, while the Hindus look 
passively on, or consent to be taken as derelict in 
duty. " What efforts," asks a correspondent of the 
editor of a Bombay native paper, " have until now 
been made by this Society to alleviate the sufferings 
of the Aryans, and how have they succeeded ? " 
Does our questioner know the meaning of words ? 
Did he, before penning those lines, ponder well 
what relief of the sufferings of the Aryans involves, 
and what our poor efforts could reasonably be ex- 
pected to accomplish in that direction ? No, but 
like every other man who has sat down to hale us 
before the public, he dashed off the first smart 



ITS FJ^IENDS AND ENEMIES. 171 

phrase that came Into his mind, as one shuts his 
eyes and fires his musket point-blank into a crowd. 
I can say one thing in reply to this gentleman 
which can be proved even upon European testi- 
mony, let alone the abundant evidence natives can 
furnish, and that is that we have made every 
effort in the power of mortal men to interest the 
paramount race in behalf of the Hindus, and to make 
them respect Aryan philosophy and science. To 
effect this result we have spared neither time, 
trouble, nor the inconveniences and costs of travel. 
We have also excited respect for Indian achieve- 
ments and sympathy with Indian thought, in the 
most distant countries. In ample proof of this, I 
point you to the articles which have appeared in 
those countries, many of which are preserved by us 
in our scrap-books at Head Quarters. 

But all this is nothing in the eyes of these 
drowsy patriots ! " Here we are," substantially say 
they who, perhaps, never sacrificed one pan-sitpari 
for India, *' and here are the Aryans, twenty-four 
crores strong. Here is Aryavarta, stripped to the 
last rag, and in the last extremes of starvation. 
Here are one-fifth of the people lying down hungry 
every night, and rising hungry every morning. 
Here are fifty millions of wretched human beings 
fighting famine on a half acre of land each. Here 
is ignorance holding a nation in chains, and super- 
stition gnawing out the last remnants of hope in 
their hearts. Here are hungry fathers breeding 
children by lakhs only to starve ; farmers eating 



172 THE OS PHY, 

the best of their seed grain and saving the worst ; 
giving their land no fallow time for recuperation ; 
burning their manure, because the wood is all cut 
away; here are taxes multiplying, poverty increasing, 
and an educated class thinking of Government alone 
as their employer ; here are five hundred struggling 
applicants for ten vacant places, at from Rs. 40 to 
60 per month, advertised by the Bombay Telegraph 
Department ; and here are liquor-shops, springing 
up like mushrooms in every large town. Come, 
Theosophists, banish our sufferings and we will not 
call you impostors or adventurers any more." This 
is no exaggeration, but the exact tone of nine-tenths 
of the criticisms upon us with which the native press 
has teemed, and of the public expectation. Do we 
not know it ? Who should know it better than w^e 
who get almost every day letters to this very effect 
from the four corners of India? And yet how can we 
utter one angry word in protest, when we know that 
the cause of all this is in the wretchedness of a 
people, enwrapped in such a blackness of despair that 
they clutch at even the faintest promise of relief In 
their awful dejection they have tried to cheat their 
hearts into the belief that, perhaps, the hoped-for Re- 
generator had come or was just coming from across 
the ocean. Ay, and just after my first address was 
made, a native paper said as much. But it is not 
so, it is not so, I tell you. We can only sorrow at 
our helplessness to give the succour so much 
needed, and try to spur to a sense of their duty 
those who alone could do something, if they only 



ITS FIUEA'DS AND ENEMIES. 173 

would. And in parenthesis let me remark that it 
would be a good beginning if those who have said 
the sharpest things about what the Theosophists 
have not done, would, when next writing to the 
papers, prove that they had themselves set us that 
pattern of unselfish patriotism they would have us 
imitate ! Talk is cheap, gentlemen, and the com- 
modity is not scarce in India. If words could be 
coined into rupees, our young reformers would long 
ago have restored the splendour of the Aryan epoch, 
and lodged every ryot in a marble bungalow. Yet 
words are useful too, and very necessary to India 
at this particular juncture. Words of warning, of 
appeal, of encouragement ; glowing words that 
shall burn through the thick crust of selfishness and 
reach the very core of every patriot's heart. Have 
you read the history of the world and not learnt 
the mighty power of the right word spoken at the 
right moment? Speak then, every man of you, 
but also act ; speak and tell your countrymen that 
the time for dreaming is past, the hour for action 
has come. Let a great shout go up, like the voice 
of thunder, until the Himalayas echo to the cry 
from Cape Comorin, that if the nation is to be 
saved, every one who can give the slightest help 
must nozu give it. Even the British themselves, 
with all their might and power, will be unable 
to save the Indian people from starvation, per- 
haps annihilation, unless India herself awaken 
to activity and reform, and help them to save 
her. You have gained knowledge, scatter it every- 



174 THEOSOPHY, 

where ; for it Is Ignorance that has cursed Arya- 
varta, and this is the demon that has buried his 
fangs in her fair throat. You remove your shoes 
and reverently worship when you enter your temples 
and, I tell you, you ought to do the same at every 
school-house door. For, if India may be rescued, 
it is only by the spread of education in the Temples 
of Knowledge. When one shall see in your coun- 
try what you can see in America and England — a 
school open wherever there are children to be taught 
— then, ay, then indeed, will the sufferings of the 
Aryans be " alleviated," and India be prosperous 
and happy once more. Do not trouble yourselves 
about the Theosophists ; don't waste your time in 
complaining that they have not accomplished the 
miracles you expected of them : they will do what 
little they can — you may count upon that ; and 
they will never do any thing dishonourable, or that 
has to be covered up. Set your own houses in 
order ; live in private up to your public professions, 
— that is all we, or any one else, could ask : be what 
you pretend to be. If you are idol-haters in public 
meetings, be so when your own family and caste 
fellows are by too ; if you are orthodox at heart, 
be manly enough to say so to the face of the whole 
world. If you think Christianity the best religion, 
and your reason is convinced, boldly proclaim it, 
and take the consequences ; and if you think it the 
worst, say so like men. If you expect your 
neighbour to give in charity, or work for the 
country's good, set him the example. We have 



ITS FRIENDS AND ENEMIES. 175 

had enough of masks and hypocrisies, and a moral 
coward every honest soul loathes. Cannot every 
man in this assemblage put his hand upon one of 
these two-faced talkers ? Are they not in the 
orthodox sects, in the Arya Samaj, the Prarthana 
Samaj, and the Theosophical Society — yes, even 
in that, and not only hypocrites but traitors ? Do 
you not, even while I speak, recall to mind how 
the man with two faces pretends to be a reformer, 
but is not ; to favour child widows' remarriage, and 
yet casts the first stone at the one who puts into 
practice his very sentiments, nay, will himself, if a 
widower, marry a wife young enough to be his 
grand-daughter's daughter ? Have you not heard 
him abhor child-marriage, and yet know that he 
had had no sound sleep until his own baby daughter 
was pledged and bound to a boy husband ; or worse 
yet, to a man older than himself ; seen him frown 
upon the costly ceremonials of investiture with the 
thread, marriage, first pregnancy, &c., and yet 
beggar himself and his relatives in trying to vie 
with his acquaintance in empty display? These 
are the men of mere words, whose counsel no 
one respects or wants, because they are hypo- 
crites and poltroons. But he who preaches self- 
denial and practises it; he who proves by his acts that 
he means all he says, ah ! he is a man to listen to, 
let his advice be ever so fanciful and impracticable. 
For we feel that he at least is a conscientious man 
and is acting up to his best light, even though 
strength often fail him and he occasionally may 



176 THEOSOPFIY, 

fall out of the straight path. These are the kind 
of men we try to draw into our Theosophical 
Society. We never ask them what their creed is, 
we do not care : they may worship the god they 
see in fire or the sun ; or the divinity that for them 
infuses the substance of a Sivaic Lingam and ani- 
mates its ultimate atoms ; they may search for his 
glory at Mecca or Jerusalem ; in the kabah or fire- 
temple ; at Benares or L'hassa ; or in the ocean 
depths or the morning dawn. Though they wash 
their sins away in the Ganges or the Jordan : though 
they pray standing or kneeling, with forms of 
words or the soundless aspirations of the inmost 
heart — we care not. They are sincere, and we hail 
them as our brothers. They are searchers after 
truth, and, in the degree of their spiritual 
mindedness, Theosophists. What then is Theoso- 
phy? you will ask. I reply that TJicosophia — " God- 
like wisdom " — for us means "search after divine 
knowledge," the term divine applying, as we see it, 
to the divine nature of the abstract principle, not 
to the quality of a Personal God. Many may even 
be rejecting God as a being, be piicca atheists in 
fact, and yet if they accept the existence of divine 
or absolute wisdom and truth, and are honestly and 
sincerely trying to find it out and live up to that 
standard, they are philo-theosophs, lovers of God- 
like or divine Wisdom and Truth ; the two words 
being synonymous, for there can be no absolute 
Truth without Wisdom, and absolute Wisdom is 
absolute Truth. Our Society might have added to 



ITS FRIENDS AND ENEMIt^S. m 

the name " Thcosophical " that of " Philadelphian " 
(from the two words pJiilos, loving, and adelphos, 
brother), as it was always meant to be a society of 
universal brotherhood and for promoting brotherly 
love among all races — but there were several re- 
ligious societies of that name already, as the Christ- 
adelphians and the Philadelphians. Knowing but 
of one really divine manifestation on earth — 
Humanity as taken collectively, Humanity with its 
god-like intellect, its latent promises and spiritual 
hopes, hidden away under a thick crust of material- 
ism and selfishness — we know of no better form of 
worship, no higher cultus to the divine principle, 
than that whose oblations are laid on the altar of 
Humanity. With our hands upon that altar we 
must all strive to call out these divine, deep, hidden 
intuitions of mutual Help, Tolerance and Love. 
By "divine " then I mean that which the common 
intuition of mankind conceives to be the opposite 
of all that is animal, material, brutish. The know- 
ledge one gains by the help of the physical senses 
is physical science. It is the orderly classification 
of the objective phenomena of the visible world. 
Theosophy, on the contrary, is the discovery of the 
law and order of the inner world of force or spirit, 
by the aid of another set of faculties that lie within 
the human being. What creed the spiritual searcher 
m.ay outwardly held to, matters as little as the 
colour or shape of his turban or scarf; provided 
only that he does not let the acid of his creed eat 
out the precious substance of his nobler nature. 



178 TIIEOSOPHY, 

There have been true theosophists in every creed ; 
true seers who have Hfted the secret veils of Nature 
and penetrated her mysteries. It may astonish 
you to hear me say that the most materiahst 
scientists are theosophists— ay, Professors Huxley 
and Tyndall, for instance, who have devoted their 
whole lives to the search of truth in hidden principles, 
in physical nature, and served humanity faithfully 
and sincerely. This alone would make good my 
proposition, even did we not know that mankind 
are substantially the same the world over. Have 
you ever read the Dabistan — that most instructive 
report by Mohsan Fani, the learned Persian of the 
seventeenth century, of his observations of the 
various holy men who were his contemporaries ? 
If not, do so, and you will find quoted the exultant 
language of Jellal-Eddin Rumi, in which he de- 
scribes the extinction of all human prejudices and 
passions that occurs when the mystic has attained 
emancipation. " O IMoslems ! what is to be done ? 
I do not know myself; I am neither Jew, nor 
Christian, nor Gheber, nor Moslem ; I am not from 
the East nor from the West; nor from land nor 
sea ; neither from the region of nature nor from 
that of heaven ; not from Hind nor China ; not 
from Bulgaria nor Irak ; nor from the towns of 

Khorassan I know but him, Yahu! What 

is the intent of this speech ? Say it, O Shams 
Tabrizi ! The intended meaning is ; / am the soul 
of the world!' The Mobed Peshkar of Patna, we 
are told, " attained the knowledge of God and him- 



ITS FRIENDS AND ENEMIES. 179 

self, and he became eminently divested of prejudice 
and exempted from human Infirmities: being totally 
unfettered by the bonds or chains of any sect what- 
ever, and studiously shunning the polemic domains 
of prejudice; in short, the eulogium of one creed 
and the abhorrence of another, entered not into 
his system." The Shaikh Bahu-ud-din Muhammed 
Amall, enchanted by the noble sentiments of 
Kaiviin, a Zoroastrlan sage, became his follower, 
and nobly exclaims : " As the splendour of the 
Almighty is in every place, knock thou either at 
the door of the kabah or the portals of the fire- 
temple." 

The editors of the Dabistan say : " There Is 
scarcely a tenet to be found In any other creed 
which does not, at least in its germ, exist in the 
Hindu religion." And yet while thus showing an 
appreciation of a profound truth, they also say that 
the common state of a Yogi " is that of complete 
impasslveness or torpor ;" thereby indicating that 
the Hindu search, through Yoga, after the very 
spiritual light and powers exemplified in the joyous 
cry of the Sufi Jellal-Eddin, was a thing they did 
not appreciate. And yet they affirm this great truth 
that "in all times and places, the religion of the ' En- 
lightened' was distinguished from that of the 'Vul- 
gar ; ' the first as Interior, being the product of uni- 
versal reason, was everywhere nearly uniform ; the 
second, as exterior, being composed of particular 
and arbitrary rites and ceremonies, varied accord- 
ing to the influence of the climate, and the char- 



I So THEOSOPHY, 

acter, history, and civilization of a people. But, in 
the course of time, no religion remained entirely 
the same, either in principle or form." The core 
and heart of all was a like aspiration after spiritual 
truth. This spiritual aspiration for absolute know- 
ledge is true Theosophy, and the word that our 
Society brought to the Western world was that the 
acquirement of this knowledge was possible by 
self-discipline and purification and development. 
We first proclaim then the universal brotherhood of 
man and the duty of all to join in what will pro- 
mote the welfare of the human race, especially those 
who are weakest and most need help. We do not 
claim this as any new doctrine ; it has been often 
enunciated by other societies. But we are trying 
to make those who accept it in theory, show it in 
practice. Our plan has been to interest groups of 
men of different races and religions to co-operate 
with each other in this direction. We have suc- 
ceeded to a certain extent — to an extent which might 
surprise some who have imagined that we were do- 
ing nothing. I hear we are accused of greatly ex- 
aeeeratinsf our numbers. We have members in the 
two Americas, in Australia and the West Indies, in 
Siam and Burmah, in Java, Holland, Austria, 
Russia, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Ger- 
many, Hungary, Belgium, Italy, Cyprus, Ceylon, 
Spain, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Greece, Mexico, Japan, 
and, here, in India. 

Thus, in ever widening circles, like the wavelets 
caused by a stone that drops in water, runs on the 



ITS FRIENDS AND ENEMIES. i8i 

impulse given to contemporaneous thought by the 
Theosophical Society. That impulse is now so 
marked, and has gone so far beyond any blunders 
in judgment we may make — so far beyond the 
reach of anything we, Founders of the Society, 
could do to check it, did we even wish to do 
so — that the established and inexorable law of the 
diffusion of human thought would carry it down 
the century were we to die tomorrow. I have here 
the photograph of a group of some three hundred 
boys who are regularly attending the school 
recently opened by our branch Society at Galle, Cey- 
lon — one of the five schools that have sprung up in 
that island as the result of our recent visit.* Every 
boy is the son of Buddhist parents, and nearly all 
were until now being educated in missionary schools, 
where their minds were being turned away from the 
religion of their forefathers. The teachers you see 
here are Buddhist members of our Society, and our 
noble colleagues pay the school's entire expenses 
out of their private means. That no such schools 
have been founded by Theosophists in India may 
be accounted for, partly because Government is 
doing so much for non-sectarian education, but 
mainly because we have not yet received into our 

* The attendance increased to five hundred, and this so alarmed the 
missionaries that they opened their principal school as a free school, 
offering to give a first-class education gratis. The Buddhists are so 
poor that they availed themselves of the chance, and our numbers 
largely declined. When some generous friend shall help them to 
funds, ours will be made a free school, and then we shall have all out- 
boys back again with a rush. 



1 82 TBEOSOPHY, 

Society men with the liberality of Jamsetji 
Jeejibhoy, Jaggernath Sunkerseth, Gokuldas Tejpal, 
or Cowasji Jehangir, though we have one member 
worth fifteen lakhs. And so long as the schools 
are but founded, it matters little that we should 
have the mere credit of their establishment. Our 
highest hope is to arouse others to noble deeds, and 
to cause the seeds of a great and permanent reform 
to be scattered. From the first we have been 
fortunate in attracting into our membership many 
authors, journalists and others who address the 
public or have a hand in the work of education. 
This will explain to you why our theosophical ideas 
should have so rapidly gained a world-wide circula- 
tion. Theosophy, properly understood, has not one 
feature calculated to excite the hostility of reason- 
able men of any school of science or religion. I will 
lay down two cardinal propositions — (i.) That, 
psychically, all men are brothers, all equally entitled 
to know divine truth, and, without distinction of na- 
tionality or faith, should join for the general good of 
humanity ; bound by a common tie and common 
sympathies. For united effort not only mitigates 
the hardness of the task, but produces tenfold 
p-reater results in the same time. One ant can 
carry but a grain of dust at once, but a colony of 
ants labouring together can remove the largest 
house in time. So one man, unless endowed with 
extraordinary advantages, can accomplish compara- 
tively little ; but with co-operation every thing is 
possible. This help we ask, this we have the right 



ns FRIEA'DS AND ENEMIES. 183 

to expect ; and, as I have shown you, we have had 
it from thousands of well-wishers whose faces we 
have never seen and never may see. (2.) My 
second proposition is that every human being has 
within his own nature, in a greater or less degree, 
certain sublime faculties which, when fully 
developed, will give him divine knowledge. The 
theory upon which almost all formalized religions 
rest is that only a certain favoured class of men 
have these spiritual capacities, and alone can be 
permitted to exercise them. But, as I said before, 
there have been " emancipated " or "illuminated " 
ones under all the various religions, and the testi- 
mony they have brought back to us from their 
soul-flights into the inner world has essentially 
agreed. We have seen that when a certain point 
of this interior development is reached, the seer 
loses all sense of his nationality, his theology, even 
of his personality. His pettiness becomes infinitely 
expanded, and, from the consciousness of being a 
microscopic point as compared to the whole, he 
feels that he is in all, bounds all, is all. The body 
he so cherished and lavished so much care and 
thought upon is now felt to be a clog and impedi- 
ment — if, indeed, he can cramp himself down to a 
realisation that it exists. How beautiful, how 
suggestive, the verse of the poet Hafiz, where, in a 
charming allegory, he describes the ease with which 
the absolute truth may be attained when the barriers 
of flesh arc once surmounted : — 



1 84 THEOSOPHY, 

" The perfect beauty of my beloved is not concealed by an inter- 
posing veil ; 
O Hafiz, iJioii ai't the curtain of the road ; remove away." 

There are no secrets of nature impenetrable, he 
would say ; the only obstacle to our gaining full 
knowledge is SELF. This is the coward, the 
traitor, the despot, the bigot, the swinish sensualist, 
the lump of egotism. This Self is the serpent 
coiled beneath the flowers of life. This is that 
which stifles all good and noble aspirations, and 
which makes the Rights of Man as a whole ruth- 
lessly sacrificed to the base greed of the individual 
man. Ah ! the dream of Universal Brotherhood 
of Man, when nations will cease to enslave nations, 
and the only strife will be who can best live up to 
the ideal of human perfectibility ! The bright 
vision mocks us even as we gaze upon its splendour, 
yet happy he who has even been so blessed as to 
see it in his dreams. Theosophy is the enchantress 
that alone can conjure it up ; and though hard be 
the task and disheartening the delay in gaining the 
divine wisdom, when once gained, the sacrifices of 
a life seem no adequate price to pay for its acquisi- 
tion. 

Who are the friends of this Theosophy — v.'ho its 
enemies ? I utter no paradox in saying that in the 
cause of Theosophy, as of every other cause, those 
esteemed its friends are sometimes its worst 
enemies, and its would-be enemies often its best 
friends. For the zeal of the former is often 
inordinate, and the poisoned darts of the latter 



ITS FRIEjVDS and ENEMIES. 185 

often recoil from the polished shield of truth and 
wound the one who hurled them. If I frankly 
include myself in the former category, I should be 
acquitted of egotism, and so I do. My Cause is 
far greater than my ability to serve it effectively, 
and none knows so well as I how much and often 
this sacred cause may have been injured by the 
errors I have myself committed. It is not a ques- 
tion to be considered whether my motives have 
been good ; for results are the current coin in the 
exchequer of moral justice. The Christian hell, the 
proverb says, is paved with good intentions ; a 
Christian sect has adopted the motto Finis coronat 
opus — the end justifies the means — and made it the 
pretext for nameless and numberless crimes against 
humanity. As regards the moral accountability of 
the individual, the question is whether he has done 
all he could with the means at his disposal to 
realize a worthy ideal. If Theosophy has suffered 
from my blunders, who profess to be among its 
most earnest advocates, its mouth-piece, so has the 
progress of our Society suffered through the inex- 
cusable heedlessness of our associated fellows and 
members in holding such extravagant views of the 
Founders, and expecting them to be above the 
weaknesses of mortality. This I have touched upon 
already, but I revert to it from a desire to press 
home the thought that a would-be friend may con- 
vert himself into a dangerous enemy by setting up 
the illusions of his own fancy, and then growing 
indifferent, if not hostile, when the glamour passes 



1 86 THEOSOPHY, 

awa}^ " Are these Theosophlsts," asks a certain 
Mr. Ganpatrao of the editor of the Indu Prakash, 
"in conduct like ordinary people of the world, or 
like Tukaram, and other SadJuis of ancient times ? " 
Now, if the false report had not spread that we 
were like Sadhns, our friend would never have 
thought of asking such a question. If the gentle- 
man is within the sound of my voice, let me answer 
that we are nothing but ordinary people, and never 
pretended to be anything else. We never asked 
people to look upon us as gurus, or follow our per- 
sonal example ; though we have tried, as far as 
our natural infirmities permitted, to make that 
example a good one. What we have said to the 
Hindus is, " Follow the example of your Tukarams 
and your Harischandras, of your Rishis and your 
Yogis ; follow them as models, and not any 
foreigner, even though he may think your ancestors 
fools, and not know he is one himself in saying, or 
even thinking, so. And we have tried to make the 
dignity, the virtue, and the learning of those 
ancestors of yours appreciated by you, and respected 
by the whole v/orld." 

" Have they conquered the six passions of Lust, 
Anger, Greediness, Vanity, Avarice, and Envy ? " 
he asks. Now it is for those who are best acquainted 
with our daily lives and conversation to answer this 
question. I leave it to them to answer ; not alto- 
gether now, but after we are dead and gone, when 
the truth shall shine out through the clouds of 
partiality, on the one side, and of prejudice, on the 



ITS FRIENDS AND ENEMIES. 187 

Other. Some of these vices we may, I think, justly 
claim to be exonerated from having even now. 
For no one in India, even our worst enemy, would 
dare accuse us of either lust, greediness, avarice, or 
envy. If I were to tell you we are perfectly free of 
vanity it would perhaps be taken as the best proof 
that we are not, or remain for ever an open question , 
as nothing is so difficult as to prove whether it is 
personal Vanity in man or a justifiable Pride which 
is his secret motor. From anger we certainly are 
not exempt; we have not yet reached the stage where 
one can suffer in silence and with smiles the cruel 
stripes of slander, the base return of treachery and 
ingratitude, the wilful perversion of our motives, the 
cowardly assaults on character by masked assassins. 
No, not perfect yet — alas 1 not yet. But even sup- 
posing that we are not to be ranked among the 
" emancipated ones," though striving hard, does our 
questioner therefore give us to understand that he is 
not bound to listen to our advice to put aside his own 
vices and take examplefromthe virtues of Tukaram? 
That is the gist of the whole question ; and this 
interrogatory reflects the now universally prevalent 
tone of public thought — viz., that to find some holy 
or supposed holy person, and nominally enroll one- 
self as his admirer, follower, ©r pupil, will confer 
merit and secure vioksha without self-sacrifice or 
the conquest over evil passions. Not only by word 
of mouth in private conversations, but from many 
public platforms, and through our journal, the 
Theosophist, we have tried to compel the public 



1 88 THEOSOPHY, 

to think of the great problem of Theosophy, and 
pointed all who would learn to the ancient Aryan 
sources of information. 

Mr. Gunpatrao's next question is, " How far do 
the Theosophists keep up to the standard of Brother- 
hood ? " I will tell him that he may search ■ the 
whole history of our Society, and he will find that 
we have always been on the side of the weak against 
the strong. We have, as you have seen in what 
has been shown you respecting the spread of our 
fellowship to all the quarters of the world, linked 
many, of many nations and creeds, together with 
the tie of mutual reciprocity and tolerance. " This 
new Gospel," says a writer in a London journal, 
" appears to be now in the ascendancy among 
spiritualists. Its immense value in behalf of the 
well-being of mankind cannot be over-estimated. 
We rejoice to see the Theosophists in Hindustan 
. . really labouring towards this goal." " That 
greatproject of human fraternity," writesM. Fauvety, 
President of the Paris Psychological Society, "which 
you propose to realise by means peculiar to your- 
selves. . . constitutes the grandest and noblest 
tentative that has been essayed on the road to 
universal conciliation." " Such a society as yours," 
says the venerable French metaphysician Cahagnet, 
in accepting our diploma of Fellow, " has been the 
dream of my wdiole life." Says the Pioneer of 
Allahabad — a paper which before we came to India 
and promulgated our views, was certainly never 
charged with any specially weak tolerance of Hin- 



ITS FRIENDS AND ENEMIES. 189 

duism — "We have no hesitation in recognising the 
Theosophical Society as a beneficent agency in 
promoting good feeling between the two races in 
this country, not merely on account of the ardent 
response it awakens from the Native community, 
but also because of the way in which it certainly 
does tend to give Europeans in India a better kind 
of interest in the country than they had before." 
"No man," remarks the Colombo (Ceylon) Ex- 
iwiiner, " who has a firm faith in what he believes 
is the truth, and the excellence of his own system 
of faith, can quarrel with the Theosophists. . . . 
They tell us they have a conscientious mission to 
perform, and we see them labouring earnestly in 
the discharge of their self-imposed duties. . . . the 
spirit of research they are striving to infuse into 
the torpid minds of our countrymen cannot fail to 
lead to good results." " Let us," says the noble 
President of the Ionian Theosophical Society, of 
Corfu (Greece), in his Inaugural Address, " let us 
place the brotherhood of nations as the first of our 
wishes, and let us hasten the coming of that blessed 
moment when the whole of mankind will be gathered 
in one fold and will have but one shepherd." The 
Amriia Bazar Patrika, that fearless champion of 
Indian interests, speaking of our journal, says 
"Since the Theosophist carefully abstains from 
politics, and its plan is one of Universal Brother- 
hood, it should be welcomed by every sect and 
people throughout the world. And as it recognises 
the Aryans as the fathers of all religions and 



190 THEOSOPHY, 

sciences, Hindus owe it their enthusiastic sup- 
port." 

Omitting personal matters, what remains is to 
dispose of the question of occult phenomena. The 
IndiL PrakasJCs correspondent wishes to know 
whether Madame Blavatsky has produced real 
phenomena; whether she will do so again ; and 
whether the correspondent himself may have a 
special chance to see them ? Now, as far as human 
evidence will go, the proof is apparently overwhelm- 
ing that at Simla, Benares, and elsewhere, strange 
things of this nature did occur, and that they were 
real and not mere deceptions. Tricks, gentlemen, 
are played only by tricksters — persons who have no 
character to lose, and who have an interested 
motive in making their dupes believe their lies. 
You will get no Court in any civilized country in 
the world to withhold from an accused person of pre- 
vious good character the benefit of the doubt. And 
now tell me, if you please, what was Madame Bla- 
vatsky 's interested motive in this case? She is not 
here, and I may speak freely what I have to say 
about her. What was the motive? Money? She 
never asked or received one anna's value for any 
phenomenon she ever produced either in India or 
elsewhere. And, mind you, these phenomena have 
attended her for many years, all over the world, as 
she has journeyed to study occult science. If it were 
at all worth the trouble I could occupy hours in read- 
ing to you reports of the strange feats of this kind 
she did in America alone, in the presence of all 



ITS FRIENDS AND ENEMIES. 191 

manner of people. I might give you the names and 
addresses of enough credible witnesses — sceptics — 
to prove her possession of these powers to the satis- 
faction of any fair-minded man. And her vindi- 
cation might be made with the greatest ease by 
collecting the testimony of eye-witnesses in India, 
who would certify to facts more reraarkable than 
any that have been reported in the papers. Well, 
then, if money was not her object, was it fame ? 
A sorry reward, indeed, this sort of fame, which 
makes her the subject of the scurvy jests and pus- 
illanimous jeers of the ignorant and prejudiced ! 
Her fame is already secured in the authorship of 
his Unveiled, one of the most masterly reviews of 
ancient and modern Science and Theology ever 
written : a book which one of the best of our con- 
temporaneous critics pronounces " one of the re- 
markable productions of the century." Only here 
in India has the book had the honour of being 
abused by certain petty editors. I say "honour," 
for it is an honour to be abused, as it is a disgrace to 
be praised, by such weathercocks. Well, if neither 
money nor fame forced her to invite such criticisms, 
what then ? Come, you who rake the gutters of 
human nature for bits of garbage to fling in decent 
people's faces, what is left for you to insinuate ? 
She is a woman ; strike her in the good woman's 
most sensitive moral part — her motive. Ah, shame 
on slanderers ! See this great, generous-hearted 
soul, filled with love for humanity; longing to throw 
lif^ht into the darkened minds of those who still 



192 THEOSOFHY, 

believe in miracles, and still clank the chains of 
superstition; devoting her life, sacrificing the sweets 
of home, and family and ease, and a high social 
position, to go about the world in search of truth, 
and spreading it so that all may partake. Those 
who know her best appreciate her abnegation and 
perfect disinterestedness ; and though some who 
do- not understand her motives may think — nay 
even take upon themselves to proclaim her accord- 
ing to their worldly understanding a hallucinated 
lunatic — no one had better venture to call her an 
impostor, unless, indeed, he is prepared to be him- 
self called by some of the most renowned men 
living a vile slanderer ! Here stand I, her witness 
and friend, I whom she took out of the ditch of 
worldly selfishness and put on the path to divine 
truth and happiness. I am here to tell you that I 
should deserve to have my tongue cleave to the 
roof of my mouth were I to keep silence when her 
motives are thus called in question. 

She has shown her phenomena from what I con- 
ceive to be the mistaken idea that when there was no 
reasonable ground for suspicion of their genuineness 
they would be acknowledged, and the public would 
try to learn as she had learned, and then, whether 
materialists or religious bigots, become wiser and 
happier. Noticing the impending visit to India of 
Professor Solavief, the " Herbert Spencer of Russia," 
the Pioneer editorially remarks : — 

" He (Prof. Solavief) has been impressed with a sense of the im- 
portance of Hindu thought in connexion with pure speculation, by 



ITS FRIENDS AND ENEMIES. 193 

the light thrown on this subject by the Theosophical Society and 
its stupidly maligned, and so far ill-appreciated founder, Madame 
Blavatsky. The fact is, that while we (Englishmen) in India have 
been in contact with the remains of old native culture for a hundred 
years without having detected its significance, it has been reserved 
for the indomitable old lady just mentioned to put an entirely new 
face on Oriental philosophy. ... It will probably surprise 
some heedless jokers in the press to hear that already some of the 
foremost European metaphysicians in India have acknowledged 
this. . . ." 

Bitter experience has taught her the truth that 
human nature is too base to be honest. Were I in 
her place I would never again — at least not in India 
— thus fling myself as a victim to be mangled by 
the hounds. There are many who would regard the 
Theosophical Society as a miracle club, by joining 
which, whether deserving or not, they ought to get 
their fill of wonders. Some, devoid of patriotism 
and the instinct of race pride, caring nothing for 
the vindication in modern eyes of their ancestral 
fame and glories, but only eager for their senses to 
be astonished by phenomena, have felt themselves 
aggrieved because they have seen none. Madame 
Blavatsky has been reviled by them and through 
them, because of their disappointment. The pub- 
lished testimony of those who have witnessed the 
most wonderful things, has caused her to be pounced 
upon by a host of newspaper critics, as though she 
were not a private individual who never showed any- 
thing but to a limited circle of friends, but a sort of 
professional juggler who had cheated them out of 
their money. But even though they sawten thousand 
phenomena, yet neither studied nor put forth indi- 

N 



194 THEOSOPHY, 

vidual efforts, they would never reap the slightest 
benefit. They would never learn the great truth, 
that while occult phenomena are possible, a miracle 
is an impossibility in nature. Spiritualism has for the 
past thirty-two years been surfeiting the public with 
phenomena of the most startling description : the 
known laws of force have been upset, matter has 
displayed qualities never suspected before, and even 
the figures, or rather portrait-statues of the dead 
have stalked in our presence, and revealed the 
secrets of the shadow world. Has religion or 
philosophy been the gainer by all this ? No. 
Have the mass of investigators been stimulated to 
nobler lives ? No. Those that were moral before 
are for the most part moral still, and the bad con- 
tinue bad. We are gorged with phenomena, we 
need philosophy and a sure path to release us from 
our pain and suffering. Where is this knowledge 
to be sought for? Here, in India ; and if you will 
question either one of the hundreds of European 
visitors with whom Madame Blavatsky has talked 
in different countries, you will find that her con- 
stant vehement assertion has ever been that what 
she knows she learned in India and Tibet, and that 
for what they taught her she gives her love and her 
life, If necessary, to promote the happiness of their 
people. 

" But is not your Society established for the sole 
purpose of giving these experimental proofs of 
psychic power ? " some will ask. I answer, no ; 
more phenomena have been shown to outsiders than 



ITS FJ^IENDS AND ENEMIES. 795 

to members, because every man who joins us to 
study occultism, tacitly pledges himself to try to 
develop his own latent psychic powers. If he does 
this he is helped, if not he is left to wait until he 
can decide to rouse himself to exertion. Adeptship 
implies the highest success in self-evolution, and 
the lavish display of phenomena to beginners is as 
demoralising as overdoses of opium or brandy. It 
either kills effort, or excites a frenzy of supersti- 
tious adulation. Do you know what we might 
have done in India by this time as easily as I can 
lift this paper ? We might have formed a new 
sect that would now count its tens of thousands of 
devotees. If we had been vain and unprincipled 
enough to have given ourselves out as two Sadhus 
bearing a divine commission and preaching under 
inspiration ; and if Madame Blavatsky had publicly 
done one-fourth of the phenomena I have seen her 
do in America, or even in India, in private, and the 
occurrence of which is perfectly attested, you 
would have seen thousands prostrating themselves 
before the flag of the Theosophical Society, and 
trampling one another to come and embrace our 
feet. Do you doubt it ? You would not if you 
stopped to read our correspondence, and note the 
extravagant lengths to which the imagination of 
our friends has carried them. I can show any of 
you, if you choose, a bundle of requests for the 
miraculous cure of physical and mental ailments, 
the recovery of lost property, and other favours. 
And, lest my English auditors might be disposed 



196 IHEOSOPHY, 

to laugh in their sleeves at Hindu credulity, let me 
warn them tha't some of the most preposterous of 
these requests have come from their own com- 
munity ; some from persons so highly placed 
that they have asked that their names may be 
withheld at all hazards. All this is a saddening 
proof of the unspirituality and rankling superstition 
of the present age. Adepts do not show them- 
selves or their phenomena because there is no 
public to appreciate them. It is known that we 
have affirmed that some of these maJiatnias are in 
relations with our Society, and take an interest in 
its welfare. I reaffirm the statement, and at the 
same time protest against the daring supposition 
that for that reason they are responsible for all or 
any of the mistakes in its management. Those 
faults are all my own and count against me. I 
have realised, too late, that the public who could so 
basely treat a woman who was but their disciple* 
could not understand anything that might be said 
about them. So, henceforth, I shall try to abstain 
from even speaking of them, except to such as are 
prepared and anxious for the truth. An age that 
is satisfied with church miracles, mediumist phe- 
nomena, or the most rank materialism, without 
seeking further for the hidden causes, may as well 
be left to play with its toys. The thoughtful man 
need ask for no more wondrous phenomenon than his 
own existence, no greater miracle than the display 
of his own splendid powers. He is surrounded by 
a world of phenomena scarcely one of which has 



ITS FRIENDS AiVD ENEMIES. 197 

he traced to its ultimate source. The steps of 
science are near the threshold of the sanctuary ; her 
hand held out to feel the lintels of the door which 
with her bandaged eyes she cannot see. Mystery 
on mystery of the outer world has been unearthed, 
until it almost seems as though there were but little 
left to learn. This blinded goddess of Materialist 
Science has but just begun to dream that a universe 
of vast extent may lie behind the curtain at the 
door. She stands without, uncertain, groping ; and 
across the threshold waits Theosophy — sweetest of 
all the devis into which poetic fancy ever made a 
thought personified — and holding out her own 
strong hand says, " Sister Science, come ! The 
field is boundless, let us search together." 



THE OCCULT SCIENCES.* 



In the tenth chapter of his famous work, entitled 
All Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, 
Hume attempts to define the limits of philoso- 
phical inquiry. So pleased was the author with 
his work that he has placed it on record that with 
the " wise and learned " — a most necessary separa- 
tion, since a man may be wise without being at all 
learned, while modern science has introduced to us 
many of her most famous men who, through burst- 
ing, like Jack Bunsby, with learning, were far, very 
far from wise — this postulate of his must be " an 
everlasting check to all kinds of superstitious de- 
lusions." For many years this oracular utterance 
was unquestioned, and Hume's apothegm was laid, 
like a handkerchief steeped in chloroform, over the 
mouth of every man who attempted to discuss the 
phenomena of the invisible world. But a brave 
Englishman and man of science, to-wit, Mr. Alfred 
Russell Wallace, F.R.S., has of late called Hume's 
infallibility in question. He finds two grave de- 
fects in that writer's proposition that " a miracle is a 
violation of the laws of Nature ; " since it assumes, 
firstly, that we know all the laws of Nature ; and 
secondly, that an unusual phenomenon is a miracle. 

* A Lecture deliveretl at Colombo, Ceylon, 15th June, 1880. 



THE OCCULT SCIENCES. 199 

Speaking deferentially, is it not after all a piece of 
preposterous egotism for any living man to say 
what is, or rather what is not^ a law of Nature ? I 
have enjoyed the acquaintance of scientists who 
could actually repeat the names of the several 
parts of a cockroach, and even of a flea. Upon this 
rare accomplishment they plumed themselves not 
a little, and took on the airs of men of science. 
I talked with them about the laws of Nature, 
and found they thought they knew enough of 
them to dogmatize to me about the Knowable and 
Unknowable. I know doctors of medicine, even 
professors, adepts in physiology and able to dose 
their patients without exceeding the conventional 
average of casualities good-naturedly permitted to 
the profession. They have dogmatized to me 
about science and the laws of Nature, although not 
one of them could tell me anything positive about 
the life of man, whether in the state of ovum, of 
embryo, of infant, of adult, or of corpse. The most 
candid medical authorities have always frankly 
confessed that the human being is a puzzle as 
yet unsolved and medicine "scientific guess- 
work." Has ever yet a surgeon, as he stood beside 
a subject on the dissecting table of the amphi- 
theatre, dared to tell his class that he knew what 
life is, or that his scalpel could cut away any in- 
tegumental veil so as to lay bare the myster}' ? 
Did any modern botanist ever venture to explain 
that tremendous secret law which makes every 
seed produce the plant or tree of its own kind ? 



2CO THE OCCULT SCIENCES, 

Mr. Huxley and his fellow-biologists have shown 
us protoplasm — the gelatinous substance which 
forms the physical basis of life — and told us that 
it is substantially identical in composition in 
plant and animal. But they can go no farther than 
the microscope and spectroscope will carry them. 
Do you doubt me ? Then hear the mortifying con- 
fession of Professor Huxley himself. " In perfect 
strictness," he says, " it is true that we know 
nothing about the composition of any body what- 
ever, as it is ! " And yet what scientist is there 
who has dogmatized more about the limitations of 
scientific inquiry ? Do you think that, because the 
chemists can dissolve for you the human body into 
its elementary gases and ashes, until what was once 
a tall man can be put into an empty cigar-box and 
a large bottle, they can help you any better to 
understand what that living man really was ? Ask 
them — I am willing to let the case rest upon their 
own unchallenged evidence. 

Science ? Pshaw ! What is there worthy to 
bear that imperial name so long as its most noisy 
representatives cannot tell us the least part of the 
mystery of man or of the nature which environs 
him ? Let science explain to us how the smallest 
blade of grass grows, or bridge over the " abyss " 
which Father Felix, the great French Catholic 
orator, tauntingly told the Academy, existed for 
it in a grain of sand, and then dogmatize as much 
as it likes about the laivs of Nature ! In common 
with all heretics, I hate this presumptuous pre- 



THE OCCULT SCIENCES, 201 

tcnce ; and as one who, having studied psychology 
nearly thirty years, has some right to be heard, I 
protest against, and utterly repudiate, the least 
claim of our modern science to know all the laws of 
Nature, and to say what Is, or what Is not, possible. 
As for the opinions of non-scientific critics, who 
never Informed themselves practically about even 
one law of Nature, they are not worth even listen- 
ing to. And yet what a clamour they make, to be 
sure ; how the public ear has been assailed by the 
din of these ignorant and conceited criticasters! It 
is like being among a crowd of stock-brokers on the 
Exchange. Every one of the authorities is dogma- 
tizing in his most vociferous and impressive manner. 
One would think to read and hear what all these 
priests, editors, authors, deacons, elders, civil and 
military servants, lawyers, merchants, vestrymen, 
and old women, and their followers, admirers, and 
echoing toadies have to say — that the laws of 
i^ature were as familiar to them as the alphabet, 
and that every one carried in his pocket the com- 
bination key to the Chubb lock of the Universe ! If 
these people only realized how foolish they really 
are In rushing in 

"... where angels fear to tread," 

they might somewhat abate their pretences. And 
if common sense were as plentiful as conceit, a 
lecture upon the Occult Sciences would be listened 
to with a more humble spirit than, I am afraid, can 
be counted upon In our days. 



202 THE OCCULT SCIENCES. 

I have tried, by simply calling your attention to 
the confessed ignorance of our modern scientists of 
the nature of life, to show you that in fact all visible 
phenomena are occult or hidden from the average 
inquirer. The term ocailt has been given to the 
sciences relating to the mystical side of nature — the 
department of force or spirit. Open any book on 
scieflce, or listen to any lecture or address by a 
modern authority, and you will see that modern 
science limits its inquiry to the visible material or 
physical universe. The combinations and correla- 
tions of matter, under the impulse of hidden forces, 
are what it studies. To facilitate this line of 
inquiry, mechanical ingenuity has lent the most 
marvellous assistance. The microscope has now 
been perfected so as to reveal the tiniest object in 
the tiny world of a drop of dew ; the telescope 
brings into its field and focus glittering constella- 
tions that, as Moore poetically says — 

" stand 

Like winking sentinels upon the void 
Beyond which Chaos dwells ; " 

the chemist's balances will weigh matter to the ten- 
thousandth part of a grain ; by the spectroscope 
the composition of all things on earth and suns 
and stars is claimed to be demonstrable in the lines 
they make across the spectrum ; substances hitherto 
supposed to be elements are now proved to be com- 
pounds, and what we had imagined to be compounds 
are found to be elements. Inch by inch, step by 
step, physical science has marched, from its old 



THE OCCULT SCIENCES. 203 

prison In the dungeon of the Church towards Its 
desired goal — the verge of physical nature. It 
would not be too much to admit that the verge has 
been almost reached, but that Edison's recent dis- 
coveries of the telephone, the phonograph, and the 
electric light, and Crookes's of the existence and 
properties of radiant matter, seem to have pushed far- 
ther away the chasm that separates the confessedly 
knowable from the fancied unknowable. The recent 
advances of physical science tend to mitigate somiC- 
what the pride of our scientists. It is as though 
whole domains, previously undreamt of, were 
suddenly exposed to view as each new eminence 
of knowledge is gained; just as the traveller sees 
lone reaches of country to be traversed upon climb- 
inp- to the crest of the mountain that had been 
shuttlne him in within a narrow horizon. The fact 
is that whether regarded from her physical or 
dynamical side, Nature is a book with an endless 
variety of subjects to be studied and mysteries 
to be unravelled. And, as regards science, there is 
a thousand times more that is occult than familiar 
and easy to understand. 

The realization of this fact, both as the result of 
personal inquiry and of conversation with the 
learned, was one chief cause of the foundation of 
the Theosophlcal Society. 

Now, it must be agreed that while the first 
necessity for the candid student Is to discover the 
depth and immensity of his own ignorance, the 
next is to find out where and how that ignorance 



204 THE OCCULT SCIENCES. 

may be dispelled. We must first fit ourselves to 
become pupils and then look about for a teacher. 
Where, in what part of the world, can there be 
found men capable of teaching us a part of the 
mystery hidden behind the mask of the world 
of matter? Who holds the secret of life? Who 
knows what force is, and what causes it to bring 
around its countless, eternal correlations with the 
molecules of matter? What adept can unriddle 
for us the problem how worlds are built and why ? 
Can any one tell us whence man came, whither he 
goes, what he is ? What is the secret of birth, of 
sleep, of thought, of memory, of death ? What is 
that eternal, self-existent principle by common 
consent believed to be the source of everything 
visible and invisible, and with which man claims 
kinship ? We little modern people have been 
going about in search after this teacher, with our 
toy lanterns in our hands, as though it were night 
instead of bright day. The light of truth shines 
all the while, but we, being blind, cannot see it. 
Does a new authority proclaim himself, we run from 
all sides, but only see a common man with ban- 
daged eyes, holding a pretty banner and blowing 
his own trumpet. " Come," he cries, " come, good 
people, and listen to one who knows the laws of 
Nature. Follow my lead, join my school, enter my 
church, buy my nostrum, and you will be wise in 
this world, and happy hereafter ! " How many of 
these pretenders there have been, how they have 
imposed for a while upon the world, what mean- 



THE OCCULT SCIEMCES. 205 

nesses and cruelties their devotees have done in 
their behalf, and how their shams and humbugs have 
ultimately been exposed, the pages of history show. 
There is but one truth, and that is to be sought for 
in the mystical world of man's interior nature ; 
theosophically, and by the help of the " Occult 
Sciences." 

If history has preserved for us the record of 
multitudinous failures of materialists to read the 
secret laws of Nature, it has also kept for our 
instruction the stories of many successes gained by 
Theosophists in this direction. There is no im- 
penetrable mystery in Nature to the student who 
knows how to interrogate her. If physical facts can 
be observed by the eye of the body, so can spiritual 
laws be discovered by that interior perception of 
ours which we call the eye of the spirit. This per- 
ceptive power inheres in the nature of man ; it is 
the godlike quality which makes him superior to 
brutes. What we call seers and prophets, what the 
Buddhists know as arahats and the Aryans as true 
sanyasis, are only men who have emancipated their 
interior selves from physical bondage by meditation 
in secluded spots where the foulness of average 
humanity could not taint them, and where they 
were nearest to the threshold of Nature's temple ; 
and by the gradual and persistent conquest of 
brutal desire after desire, taste after taste, weakness 
after weakness, sense after sense, have moved 
forward to the ultimate victory of spirit. Jesus is 
said to have gone thus apart to be tempted ; so did 



2o6 THE OCCULT SCIENCES. 

Mahomet, who spent one day in every month alone 
in a mountain cave ; so did Zoroaster, who emerged 
from the sechision of his mountain retreat only at 
the age of forty ; so did Buddha, whose knowledge 
of the cause of pain, and discovery of the path to 
Nirvana^ was obtained by solitary self-struggles in 
desert places. Turn over the leaves of the book of 
records, and you will find that every man who 
really did penetrate the mysteries of life and death 
got the truth in solitude and in a mighty travail of 
body and spirit. These were all Theosophists — 
that is, original searchers after spiritual know- 
ledge. What they did, what they achieved, any 
other man of equal qualities may attain to. And 
this is the lesson taught by the Theosophical 
Society. As they wrested her secrets from the 
bosom of Nature, so would we. Buddha said we 
should believe nothing upon authority, not even 
his own ; but because our reason told us the 
assertion was true. He began by striding over 
even the sacred Vedas because they were used to 
prevent original theosophical research ; castes he 
brushed aside as selfish monopolies. His desire 
was to fling wide open every door to the sanctuary of 
Truth. We organized our Society — as the very first 
section of our original bye-laws expresses it — " for 
the discovery of all the laws of Nature and the dis- 
semination of the knowledge of the same." The 
known laws of Nature why should we busy our- 
selves with ? The unknown or occult ones were to 
be our special province of research. No one in 



THE OCCULT SCIENCES. 207 

America, none in Europe, now living, could help us, 
except in special branches, such as magnetism, 
crystal-reading, psychometry, and those most 
striking phenomena of so - called mediumship, 
grouped together under the generic name of 
modern spiritualism. Though the Vedas, the 
Puranas, the Zend Avesta, the Koran, and the 
Bible, teemed with allusions to the sayings and 
doings of wonder-working Theosophists, we were 
told by every one that the power had long since 
died out, and the adepts vanished from the sight of 
men. At the mere mention of occult science, the 
modern biologist curled his lip In fine scorn, and 
the lay fool gave way to senseless witticisms. 

It was a discouraging prospect, certainly ; but in 
this, as in every other instance, the difficulties were 
more imaginary than real. We had a clue given 
us to the right road by one who had spent a long 
lifetime in travel, who had found the science to be 
still extant, with its proficients and masters still 
practising it as in ancient days. The tidings were 
most encouraging, as are those of help or succour to 
a party of castaways on an unfriendly shore. We 
learnt to recognize the supreme value of the dis- 
coveries of Paracelsus, of Mesmer, and of Baron von 
Reichenbach, as the stepping-stones to the higher 
branches of occultism. We turned again to study 
them, and the more we studied the clearer insight 
did we get into the meaning of Asiatic myth and 
fable, and the real object and methods of the 
ascetic Theosophists of all ages. The words "body," 



2o8 THE OCCULT SCIENCES. 

" soul/' " spirit," Moksha and Nirvana, acquired 
each a definite and comprehensible meaning. We 
could understand what the Yogi wished to express 
by his uniting himself with Brahma, and becoming 
Brahma ; why the biographer of Jesus made him 
say, " I and the Father are one ; " how Sankara- 
charya and others could display such phenomenal 
learning without having studied It In books ; whence 
Zaratusht acquired his profound spiritual illumina- 
tion ; and how the Lord Sakya Muni, though but 
a man "born in the purple," might nevertheless 
become all-wise and all-powerful. Would any 
hearer learn this secret? Let him study mes- 
merism, and master its methods until he can plunge 
his subject Into so deep a sleep that the body is 
made to seem dead, and the freed soul can be sent 
whithersoever he wills, about the earth or among the 
stars. Then he will see the separate reality of the 
body and its dweller. Or, let him read Professor 
Denton's " Soul of Things," and test the boundless 
resources of psychometry ; a strange yet simple 
science which enables us to trace back through ages 
the history of any substance held in the sensitive 
psychometer's hand. Thus a fragment of stone 
from Cicero's house, or from the Egyptian pyramids; 
a bit of cloth from a mummy's shroud ; or a faded 
parchment, letter, or painting ; or some garment 
or other article worn by a historic personage ; or a 
fragment of an aerolite — give to the psychometer Im- 
pressions, sometimes amounting to visions sur- 
passingly vivid, of the building, monument, mummy, 



THE OCCULT SCIENCES, 209 

writer or painter, of the long-dead personage, or of 
the meteoric orbit from which the last-named object 
fell. This splendid science, for whose discovery, 
in 1840, the world is indebted to Professor 
Joseph R. Buchanan, now a Fellow of our Society, 
has but just begun to show its capabilities. But 
already it has shown us that in the Ahtsa, or Ether 
of science, are preserved the records of every human 
experience, deed and word. No matter how long 
forgotten and gone by, they are still a record, and, 
according to Buchanan's estimate, about four out of 
every ten persons have in greater or less degree 
the psychometrical power which can read those im- 
perishable pages of the Book of Life. Taken by 
itself, either mesmerism, or psychometry, or Baron 
Reichenbach's theory of Odyle, or Odic force, is 
sufficiently wonderful. In mesmerism a sensitive 
subject is put by magnetism into the magnetic 
sleep, during which the body is insensible to 
pain, noise, or any other disturbing influence. 
The psychometer, on the contrary, does not sleep, 
but only sits or lies passively, holds the letter, frag- 
ment of stone or other object, in the hand or 
against the centre of the forehead, and, without 
knowing at all what it is or whence it came, 
describes what he or she feels or sees. Of the two 
methods of looking into the invisible world, psycho- 
metry is preferable, for it is not attended with those 
risks of the magnetic slumber, which may arise from 
inexperience in the operator, or from low physical 
vitality in the somnambule. Baron Dupotet, M, 



2IO THE OCCULT SCIENCES. 

Cahagnet, Professor William Gregory, and other 
authorities, tell us of instances of the latter sort, in 
which the sleeper was with difficulty brought back to 
earthly consciousness, so transcendently beautiful 
were the scenes that broke upon his spiritual vision. 
Reichenbach's discovery— the result of several 
years' experimental research, with the most expen- 
sive apparatus and a great variety of subjects, by one 
of the most eminent chemists and physicists of 
modern times— was this. A hitherto unsuspected 
force exists in Nature, having, like electricity and 
magnetism, its positive and negative poles. It per- 
vades everything in the mineral, vegetable, and 
animal kingdoms. Our earth is charged with it ; 
it is in the stars ; and there is a close interchange 
of polar influences between us and all the heavenly 
bodies. Here I hold in my hand a specimen of 
quartz crystal, sent me from the Gastein Moun- 
tains, by the Baroness von Vay. Before Reich- 
enbach's discovery of the Odic force — as he terms 

it this would have had no special interest to the 

geologist, except as a curious example of imperfect 
crystallization. But now it has a definite value be- 
yond this. If I pass the apex, or positive pole, over 
the wrist and palm of a sensitive person — thus — 
he will feel a sensation of warmth or cold, or the 
blowing of a thin, very thin pencil of air over the 
skin. Some feel one thing, some another, accord- 
ing to the Odic condition of their own bodies. 
Speaking of this latter phenomenon— viz., that 
the Odic polaric condition of our bodies is peculiar 



THE OCCUL T SCIENCES. 2 1 1 

to ourselves, different from the bodies of each 
other, different in the right and left sides, and 
different at night and morning in the same body — 
let me ask you whether a phenomenon long noticed, 
supposed by the ignorant to be miraculous, and 
yet constantly denied by those who never saw it, 
may not be classed as a purely Odic one. I refer 
to the levitation of ascetics and saints, the risincr 
into the air of their bodies, at moments when they 
were deeply entranced. Baron Reichenbach found 
that the Odic sensibility of his best patients greatly 
varied in health and disease. Professor Perty of 
Geneva, and Dr. Justinus Korner tell us that the 
bodies of certain hysterical patients rose into the 
air without visible cause, and floated as light as a 
feather. During the Salem witchcraft horrors, one 
of the subjects, Margaret Rule, was similarly levi- 
tated. Mr. William Crookes recently published a 
list of no less than forty Catholic ecstatics whose 
levitation is regarded as proof of their peculiar 
sanctity. Now, I myself, in common with many 
other modern observers of psychological pheno- 
mena, have seen a person in the full enjoyment of 
consciousness raised into the air by a mere 
exercise of the will. This person was an Asiatic 
by birth, had studied occult sciences in Asia, 
and explains the remarkable phenomena as a 
simple example of change of corporeal polarity. 
You all know the electrical law that oppositely 
electrified bodies attract, and similarly electrified 
ones repel each other. We say that we stand upon 



212 THE OCCULT SCIENCES. 

the earth because of the force of gravitation, with- 
out stopping to think how much of the explanation 
is a mere patter of words conveying no accurate 
idea to the mind. Suppose we say that we cHng to 
the earth's surface, because the polarity of our body 
is opposed to the polarity of the spot of earth upon 
which we stand. That would be scientifically 
correct. But how, if our polarity is reversed, 
whether by disease, or the mesmeric passes of a 
powerful magnetiser, or the constant effort of a 
trained self-will ? To classify, let one imagine one- 
self either a hysteric patient, an ecstatic, a somnam- 
bule, or an adept in Asiatic occult science. In either 
case, if the polarity of the body should be changed 
to its opposite polarity, and so our electrical, 
magnetic, or Odic state be made identical with that 
of the ground beneath us, the long-known electro- 
polaric law would assert itself, and our body would 
rise into the air. It would float as long as these 
mutual polaric differences continued, and rise to a 
height exactly proportionate to their intensity. So 
much of light is let into the old domain of Church 
" miracles " by mesmerism and the Od discovery. 

But our mountain crystal has another and far 
more striking peculiarity than mere Odic polarity. 
It is nothing apparently but a poor lump of glass, 
and yet in its heart can be seen strange mysteries. 
There are doubtless a score of persons in this great 
audience who, if they would sit in an easy posture 
and a quiet place, and gaze into my crystal for a 
few minutes, would see and describe to me pictures 



THE OCCULT SCIENCES, 213 

of people, scenes and places in different countries, as 
well as their own beautiful Ceylon. I gave the 
crystal into the hand of a lady who is a natural 
clairvoyant, just after I had received it from 
Hungary. " I see," she said, " a large, handsome 
room in what appears to be a castle. Through 
an open window can be seen a small park, with 
smooth, broad walks, trimmed lawns, and trees. A 
noble-looking lady stands at a marble-topped table 
doing up something into a parcel. A man-servant in 
rich livery stands as though waiting for his mistress's 
orders. It is this crystal that she is doing up, and 
she puts it into a brown box, something like a 
small musical-box." The clairvoyant knew nothing 
about the crystal, but she had given an accurate 
description of the sender, of her residence, and of 
the box in which the crystal came to me. 

Reichenbach's careful investigations prove that 
minerals have each their own peculiar Odic polarity, 
and this lets us into an understanding of much that 
the Asiatic people have said about the magical 
properties of gems. You have all heard of the 
regard in which the sapphire has ever been held 
for its supposed magical property to assist somnam- 
bulic vision. " The sapphire," according to a 
Buddhist writer, "will open barred doors and 
dwellings (for the spirit of man) ; it produces a 
desire for prayer, and brings with it more peace 
than any other gem ; but he who would wear it 
must lead a pure and holy life." 

Now, a series of investigations by Amoretti into 



214 THE OCCULT SCIENCES. 

the electrical polarity of precious stones (which we 
find reported in Kieser's Archia, vol. iv., p. 62) 
resulted in proving that the diamond, the garnet, 
the amethyst, are — E., while the sapphire is + E. 
Orpheus tells how by means of a load-stone a whole 
audience may be affected. Pythagoras, whose 
knowledge was derived from India, pays a par- 
ticular attention to the colour and nature of 
precious stones ; and Apollonius of Tyana, one of 
the purest and grandest men who ever lived, 
accurately taught his disciples the various occult 
properties of gems. 

Thus does scientific inquiry, agreeing with the 
researches of the greatest philosophers, the experi- 
ences of religious ecstatics, continually — though, as 
a rule, unintentionally — give us a solid basis for 
studying occultism. The more of physical pheno- 
mena we observe and classify, the more is the 
student of occult sciences and of the ancient 
Asiatic sciences, philosophies and religions helped. 
We modern Europeans have been so blinded by 
the fumes of our own conceit that we have not 
been able to look beyond our noses. We have 
been boasting of our glorious enlightenment, of 
our scientific discoveries, of our civilization, of 
our superiority to everybody wdth a dark skin, 
and to every nation east of the Volga and the 
Red Sea, or south of the Mediterranean, until 
we have come almost to believe that the world 
was built for the Anglo-Saxon race, and the stars 
hung in the firmament to make our bit of sky 



THE OCCULT SCIENCES. 215 

pretty. We have even manufactured, out of 
Asiatic materials, a religion to suit ourselves, and 
think it better than any religion ever heard of 
before. It is time this childish vanity were 
done away with. It is time that we should 
try to discover the sources of modern ideas, and 
compare what we think we know of the laws of 
Nature with what the Asiatic people really did 
know thousands of years before Europe was in- 
habited by our barbarian ancestors, or an European 
foot was set upon the American continent. The 
crucibles of science are heated red-hot, and we are 
melting in them everything out of which we think 
we can get a fact. Suppose that, for a change, we 
approach the Eastern people in a less presumptuous 
spirit, and honestly confessing that v/e know 
nothing at all of the beginning or end of natural 
law, ask them to help us to find out what their fore- 
fathers knew. This has been the policy of the 
Theosophical Society, and it has yielded valuable 
results already. Depend upon it there are still 
" wise men in the East," and the occult sciences are 
better worth studying than has hitherto been 
popularly supposed. 



SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY.^^" 



TilIRTEEN years ago, one of the most eminent 
of modern American jurists — Cliief Justice 
Edmonds, of the Supreme Court of New York — 
declared in a London magazine that there were 
then at least ten millions of Spiritualists in the 
United States. No man was so well qualified 
at that time to express an opinion upon this 
subject, for not only was he in correspondence 
with persons in all parts of the country, but 
the noble virtue of the man, as well as his 
learning, his judicial impartiality and conservatism, 
made him a most competent and convincing 
witness. And another authority, a publicist of 
equally unblemished private and public reputation 
— the Hon. Robert Dale Owen — while endorsing 
Judge Edmonds's estimate, adds "f that there are at 
least an equal number in the rest of Christendom. 
To avoid chance of exaggeration, he, however, 
deducts one-fourth from both calculations, and (in 
1874) writes the sum-total of so-called Spirit- 
ualists at fifteen millions. But whatever the aggre- 

* A Lecture delivered at the Rooms of the United Service Institu- 
tion of India, Simla, 7th October, 18S0. 

t The Debatable Land belivecn this World and the Next, London, 
1874, p. 174. 

/ 



SPIRITUALISM AND THE OS PHY. 217 

gate of believers in the alleged present open inter- 
course between the worlds of substance and 
shadow, it is a known fact that the number 
embraces some of the most acute intellects of our 
day. It is no question now of the self-deceptions 
of boors and of hysterical chambermaids that we 
have to deal with. Those who would deny the 
reality of these contemporary phenomena must 
confront a multitude of our most capable men of 
science, who have exhausted the resources of their 
profession to determine the nature of the force at 
work, and been baffled at seeking any other ex- 
planation than the one of trans-sepulchral agency 
of some kind or other. Beginning with Robert 
Hare, the inventor of the oxy-hydrogen blow-pipe 
and the Nestor of American Chemistry, and ending 
wdth Herr Zollner, Professor of Physical Astronomy 
in Leipzig University, the list of these converted 
experimentalists includes a succession of adepts of 
physical science of the highest professional rank. 
Each of them — except, perhaps, Zollner, who 
wished to verify his theory of a fourth dimension 
of space — began the task of investigation with the 
avowed purpose of exposing the alleged fraud, in 
the interests of public morals ; and each was trans- 
formed by the irresistible logic of facts into an 
avowed believer in the reality of mediumist 
phenomena. 

The apparatuses devised by these men of science 
to test the mediumist power have been in the 
highest degree ingenious. They have been of four 



2i8 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 

different kinds — [a) machines to determine whether 
electrical or magnetic currents were operating ; {p) 
whether the movement of heavy articles, such as 
tables touched by the medium, was caused by 
either conscious or unconscious muscular contrac- 
tion ; ic) whether intelligent communications may 
be received by a sitter under circumstances pre- 
cluding any possible trickery by the medium ; and 
id) what are the conditions for the manifestation 
of this new form of energy and the extreme limita- 
tions of its action? Of course, in an hour's lecture, 
I could not describe a tenth part of these machines, 
but I may take two as illustrating two of the 
above-named branches of research. The first 
will be found described in Professor Hare's work. 
The medium and inquirer sit facing each other, 
the medium's hands resting upon a bit of board so 
hung and adjusted that whether he presses on the 
board or not, he merely moves that and nothing 
else. In front of the visitor is a dial, like a clock- 
face, around which are arranged the letters of the 
alphabet, the ten numerals, the words " Yes," " No," 
" Doubtful," and perhaps others. A pointer or 
hand connected with a lever, the other end of 
which is so placed as to receive any current 
flowing through the medium's system, but not to be 
affected by any mechanical pressure he may exert 
upon the hand-rest, travels around the dial and 
indicates the letters or words the communicating 
intelligence wishes to be noted down. The back of 
the dial being towards the medium, the latter, of 



SPIRITUALISM AND THE OS PHY, 219 

course, cannot see what the pointer is doing, and 
if the inquirer conceals the paper on which he 
is noting down the communication, cannot have 
even a suspicion of what is being said. 

The other contrivance is described and illustrated 
in the mono9;raph entitled, Researches in tJie PJicno- 
vicna oj Spiritualising by Mr. William Crookes, 
RR.S., editor of the Quarterly Jottrnal of Science, 
and one of the most successful experimental 
chemists of our day. A mahogany board, 36 
inches long by 9<J inches wide, and one inch thick, 
rests at one end upon a table, upon a strip cut 
to a knife edge ; at the other end it is suspended 
by a spring-balance, fitted with an automatic 
registering apparatus, and hung from a firm 
tripod. On the table end of the board, and 
directly over the fulcrum, is placed a large vessel 
filled with water. In this water dips, to the depth 
of li inches from the surface, a copper vessel, with 
bottom perforated so as to let the water enter it ; 
which copper vessel is supported by a fixed iron 
ring, attached to an iron stand that rests on 
the floor. The medium is to dip his hands in 
the water in the copper vessel, and as this is 
solidly supported by its own stand and ring, 
and nowhere touches the glass vessel holding the 
water, you see that, should there occur any 
depression of the pointer on the spring-balance at 
the extreme end of the board, it unmistakeably 
indicates that a current of force weighable in foot 
pounds is passing through the medium's body. 



220 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOFHY. 

Well, both Dr. Hare with his apparatus, and ]\Ir. 
Crookes with his, obtained the desired proof that 
certain phenomena of mediumship do occur with- 
out the interference, either honest or dishonest, of 
the medium. To the power thus manifested, 
Mr. Crookes, upon the suggestion of the late 
Serjeant Cox, gave the appropriate name of 
Psychic Force, and as such it will hereafter be 
designated in this lecture. 

I mention these two mechanical contrivances 
m.erely to show those who, perhaps, have never 
inquired into the matter, but have nevertheless 
fallen into the common error of thinking the pheno- 
mena to be all deceptions, that the utmost pains 
have been taken by the cleverest scientists to guard 
against the possibility of fraud in the course of their 
experiments. If ever there was a fact of science 
proved, it is that a new and most mysterious force 
of some kind has been manifesting itself since 
March, 1848, when this mighty modern epiphany 
was ushered in, with a shower of raps, at an obscure 
hamlet in New York State. Beginning with these 
percussive sounds, it has since displayed its energy 
in a hundred different phenomena, each inexpli- 
cable upon any known hypothesis of science, and 
in almost, if not quite, every country of the globe. 
To advocate its study, expound its laws, and dis- 
seminate its intelligent manifestations, hundreds of 
journals and books have from time to time been 
published in different languages ; the movement 
has its schools and churches or meeting-halls, its 



SPIRITUALISM AND THE OS PHY. 221 

preachers and teachers ; and a body of men and 
women, numbering thousands at the least, are 
devoting their whole time and vital strength to 
the profession of medlumshlp. These sensitives, 
or " psychics," are to be found in every walk of 
life, in the palaces of royalty as well as the 
labourer's cottage, and their psychical or medium- 
ist gifts are as various as their individualities. 

What has caused this world-wide expansion of 
the new movement, and reconciled the public to 
such a vast sacrifice of comfort, time, money and 
social consequence ? What has spurred on so 
many of the most intelligent people of all lands, 
sects and races, to continue investigating ? What 
has kept the faith alive in so many millions, 
despite a multitude of sickening exposures of the 
rascality of mediums, of the demoralizing tendency 
of ill - regulated mediumship, and the average 
puerility and frequent mendaclousness of the com- 
munications received ? This : that a hope has 
sprung up in the human breast that at last man 
may have experimental proof of his survival after 
bodily death, and a glimpse. If not a full revelation, 
of his future destiny. All these millions cling, like 
the drowning man to his plank, to the one hope 
that the old, old questions of the what? the 
whence ? the whither ? will now be solved, once 
and for all. Glance through the literature of 
Spiritualism and you will see what joy, what con- 
solation, what perfect rest and courage, these 
weird, often exasperating phenomena of the seance- 



222 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 

room have imparted. Tears have ceased to flow 
from myriad eyes when the dead are laid away out 
of sight, and broken ties of love and friendship are 
no longer regarded by these believers as snapped 
for ever. The tempest no longer affrights as it 
did, and the terrors of battle and pestilence have 
lost their greatest power for the modern Spiritualist. 
The supposed intercourse with the dead and their 
messages have sapped the infallible authority of 
dogmatic theology. The Spiritualist, with the eye 
of his new faith, now sees the dim outlines of a 
summer land where we live and are occupied much 
as upon earth. The tomb, instead of seeming the 
mouth of a void of darkness, has come to look 
merely like a sombre gateway to a country of sun- 
light brightness and never-ending progression 
towards the crowning state of perfectibility. Nay, 
so definite have become the fancy pictures of this 
summer land, one constantly reads of baby-children, 
growing in spirit life to be adults ; of colleges and 
academies for mortal guidance, presided over by 
the world's departed sages ; and even of nuptial 
unions between living men or women and the 
denizens of the spirit world ! A case in point is 
that of the Rev. Thomas Lake Harris, founder of 
the socialist community on Lake Erie, who de- 
clares himself duly married to a female spirit, 
and that a child has blessed their union! Another 
case is that of the marriage of two spirits in pres- 
ence of mortal witnesses, by a living clergyman, 
which was reported last year in the Spiritualist 



SPIRITUALISM AND TIIEOSOPIIY. 223 

papers. A Mr. Pierce, son of an ex-President of 
the United States and long since dead, is said to 
have " materialized " — that is, made for himself a 
visible, tangible body, at the house of a certain 
American medium, and been married by a minister 
summoned for the occasion, to a lady spirit who 
died at the very tender age of seven months, and 
who, now grown into a blooming psychic lass, was 
also materialized for the ceremony ! The vows ex- 
changed and the blessings given, the happy couple 
sat at table with invited friends, and, after drinking 
a toast or two, vanished — dress-coat, white gloves, 
satin, lace and all — into thin air ! This you will 
call the tomfoolery of Spiritualism, and you will be 
right ; but, nevertheless, it serves to show hov/ 
clear and definite, not to say brutally materialist, 
are the views of the other world order which have 
replaced the old, vague dread that weighed us 
down with gloomy doubts. Up to a certain point, 
this state of mind is a decided gain, but I am sorry 
to say Spiritualists have passed that and become 
dogmatists. Little by little a body of enthusiasts 
is forming, who would throw a halo of sanctity 
around the medium, and, by doing away with test 
conditions, invite to the perpetration of gross frauds. 
Mediums actually caught red-handed in trickery, 
with their paraphernalia of traps, false panels, 
wigs and puppets about them, have been able to 
make their dupes regard them as martyrs to the 
rage of sceptics, and the damning proofs of their 
guilt as having been secretly supplied by the un- 



224 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 

believers themselves to strike a blow at their holy 
cause ! The voracious credulity of a large body of 
Spiritualists has begotten nine-tenths of the dis- 
honest tricks of mediums. As Mr. Crookes truly 
observed, in his preliminary article in the Quarterly 
Journal of Science, " In the countless number of 
recorded observations I have read, there appear to 
be few instances of meetings held for the express 
purpose of getting the phenomena under test con- 
ditions." Still, though this is true, it is also most 
certain that within the past thirty-two years in- 
quirers into the phenomena have been vouchsafed 
thousands upon thousands of proofs that they occur 
under conditions quite independent of the physical 
agency of the persons present, and that intelligence, 
sometimes of a striking character, is displayed in 
the control of the occult force or forces producing 
the phenomena. It is this great reserve of test fact 
upon which rests, like a rock upon its base, the in- 
vincible faith of the millions of Spiritualists. This 
body of individual experiences is the rampart 
behind which they entrench themselves whenever 
the outside world of sceptics looks to see the whole 
" delusion " crumble under the assault of some new 
hnna critic, or the shame of the latest exposure of 
false mediumship or tricking mediums. It ought 
by this time to have been discovered that it is 
worse than useless to try to ridicule away the 
actual evidence of one's senses, or to make a man 
who has seen a heavy weight self-lifted and sus- 
pended in air, or writing done without contact, or 



, SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 225 

a human form melt before his eyes, believe any 
theory that all mediumist phenomena are due 
to " muscular contraction," " expectant attention," 
or " unconscious cerebration." It is because of 
their attempts to do this that men of science, as a 
body, are regarded with such compassionate scorn 
by the experienced psychologist. Mr. Wallace 
tells us that, after making careful inquiry, he has 
never found one man who, after having acquired a 
good personal knowledge of the chief phases of the 
phenomena, has afterwards come to disbelieve in 
their reality. And this is my own experience also. 
Some have ceased to be " Spiritualists " and turned 
Catholics, but they have never doubted the reality 
of the phenomena. It will be a happy day, a day 
to be hailed with joy by every lover of true science, 
when our modern professors shall rid themselves of 
the conceited idea that knowledge was born in our 
days, and question in a humble spirit the records of 
archaic science. 

We have seen that the existence of a force- 
current has been proved by the experiments of Dr. 
Hare and Mr. Crookes ; so we need trouble our- 
selves no further with the many crude conjectures 
about table-moving, chair-lifting, and the raps, being 
the result of the muscular energy of the medium or 
the visitor, but pass on to notice some of the forms in 
which this force has displayed its dynamic energies. 
These may be separated into phenomena indicating 
intelligence and conveying information, and purely 
physical manifestations of energy. Of the former 



225 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY, 

class the one demanding first place is the so-called 
" spirit-rap." By these simple signals the whole 
modern movement called Spiritualism was ushered 
in. These audible concussions vary in degree from 
the sound of a pin-head ticking to that of blows by 
a hammer or bludgeon powerful enough to shatter 
a mahogany table. The current of psychic force 
producing them seems to depend upon the state of 
the medium's system, in combination with the 
electric and hygrometric condition of the atmo- 
sphere. Should either of these be unpropitious, the 
raps, if heard at all, are faint; with both in harmony, 
they are loudest and most persistent. Of themselves 
these rapping phenomena are sufficiently wonderful; 
but they become a hundred-fold more so when we 
find that through them communications can be 
obtained from intelligences claiming to be our dead 
friends ; communications which often disclose 
secrets known to no other person present except 
the inquirer; and even, in rare cases, giving out 
facts which no one then in the room was aware of, 
and which had to be verified later by consulting 
old records or distant witnesses. A more beautiful 
form of the rap is the sound of music, as of a cut-glass 
vessel struck, or a silver bell, heard either under the 
medium's hand or in the air. Such a phenomenon 
has been often noticed by the Rev. Stainton Moses, 
of University College, London, in his own house ; 
and Mr. Alfred R. Wallace describes- it as occurring 
in the presence of Miss Nichol, now Mrs. Volck- 
mann, at Mr. Wallace's own house. An empty 



SFIRITUALTSM AND THEOSOPHY. 227 

wine-glass was put upon a table and held by Miss 
Nichol and a Mr. Humphrey, to prevent any vibra- 
tion. Mr. Wallace tells us that, " after a short 
interval of silence an exquisitely delicate sound, as 
of tapping a glass, was heard, which increased to 
clear silvery notes like the tinkling of a glass bell. 
These continued in varying degrees for some 
minutes," &c. Again, Mr. Wallace says that when 
a German lady sang some of her national songs, 
"most delicate music, like a fairy music-box, 
accompanied her throughout. . . . This was in 
the dark, but hands were joined all the time." 
Several persons in the present audience have 
been permitted by Madame Blavatsky to hear 
these dulcet fairy-bells tinkle since she came to 
Simla. But they have heard them in full light, 
without any joining of hands, and in whatsoever 
place she chose to order them. The phenomenon 
is the same as that of Miss Nichol, but the con- 
ditions are very different ; and of that I shall 
have something to say further on. 

Mr. Crookes found the force-current extremely 
variable in the same medium on different days, 
and on the same day, from minute to minute, 
its flow was highly erratic. In his book he gives 
a number of cuts to illustrate these variations, as 
well as of the ingenious apparatus he employed to 
detect them. 

Among many thousands of communications from 
the alleged spirits that have been given to the public, 
and for the most part containing only trivial 



228 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 

messages about family or other personal affairs, the 
details of which were at least known to the in- 
quirers, and which might be attributed to thought- 
reading, we occasionally come across some that 
need other explanation. I refer to those in which 
the particulars mentioned are unknown to any one 
present at the sitting. Mr. Stainton Moses records 
one such — a case in which a message was given 
in London, purporting to come from an old man 
who had been a soldier in America, in the war 
of 1 812, and to have died there. No one in 
London had ever heard of such a person ; but 
upon causing a search to be made in the records 
of the American War Department at Washington, 
the man's name was found, and full corroborative 
proofs of the London message were obtained. 
Not having access to books here, I am obliged to 
quote from memory, but I think you will find 
my facts essentially correct. In another case, 
vouched for by Mr. J. M. Peebles, that gentle- 
man received, either in America or at least 
far away from England, a message from an 
alleged spirit who said he lived and died at 
York, and that if Mr. Peebles would search the 
records of that ancient city, the spirit's statements 
would be found strictly true. In process of time 
he did visit York and searched old birth and burial 
registers, and there, sure enough, he found just the 
data he had been promised. 

Besides communicating by the raps, the alleged 
spirits have employed many other devices to 



SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 229 

impart intelligence to the living. Such, among 
others, is the independent writing of messages 
upon paper laid on the floor under a table or in a 
closed drawer, between the leaves of a closed book, 
or on the ceiling or walls, or one's linen ; there 
being in none of these cases any human hand near. 
All these phenomena I have seen in full light, and 
under circumstances where trickery or deception 
was impossible. I have also had satisfactory ex- 
perience of the rare mediumist powers of Dr. 
Henry Slade, who, you recollect, was arrested on a 
trumped-up charge of dishonesty in London, but 
afterwards gave Zollner and his brother savants of 
Leipzig, Aksakof, Boutlerof and Wagner, of St. 
Petersburg, and the Grand Duke Constantine, a 
series of most complete tests. It was Madame 
Blavatsky and myself who sent Dr. Slade from 
America to Europe in 1876. A very high personage 
having ordered a scientific investigation of Spiritual- 
ism, the Professors of the Imperial University of St. 
Petersburg organized an experimental Committee, 
and we two were specially requested by this Com- 
mittee to select, out of the best American mediums, 
one whom we could recommend for the test. 
After much investigation we chose Dr. Slade, and 
the necessary funds for his expenses having been 
remitted to me, he was in due time sent abroad. 
Before I would recommend him I exacted the con- 
dition that he should place himself in the hands of 
a Committee of the Theosophical Society for test- 
ing. I purposely selected as members of that Com- 



230 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. ' 

mittee men Avho were either pronounced sceptics or 
quite unacquainted with spirituaHst phenomena. 
Slade was tested thoroughly for several weeks, 
and when the Committee's report * was finally 
made, the following facts were certified as having 
occurred. Messages were written inside double 
slates, sometimes tied and sealed together, while 
they either lay upon the table in full view of all, 
or were laid upon the heads of members of the 
Committee, or held fiat against the under surface 
of the table-top, or in a Committee-man's hand, 
without the medium touching it. We also saw 
detached hands — that is, hands that floated or 
darted through the air, and had no arm or body 
attached to them. These hands would clutch at 
our watch-chains, grasp our limbs, touch our 
hands, take the slates or other objects from us 
under the table, remove our handkerchiefs from our 
coat-pockets, &c. And all this, remember, in the 
light, where every movement of the medium could 
be as plainly seen as one that any present hearer 
might make now. 

Another form of signalling is the compulsory 
writing of messages by a medium whose arm and 
hand are controlled against his volition by some 
invisible power. Not only thousands, but lakhs of 
pages have been written in this way ; some of the 

* A minority report was made by a sint^Ie person ; but his pre- 
tended explanations were so transparently absurd and unfair that he 
failed to convince any of his colleagues — even an intimate friend, a 
materialist. 



SPIRITUALISM AND THE OS PHY. 231 

subject-matter occasionally worth keeping, but the 
most part valueless. Another method Is the im- 
pression, by the unseen intelligence upon the sensi- 
tive brain of a medium, of Ideas and words outside 
his own knowledge, such as foreign languages, 
names of deceased persons, the circumstances 
of their death, requests as to the disposal of pro- 
perty, directions for the recovery of lost docu- 
ments or valuables, information about murders or 
distant tragedies, of which they were the victims, 
diagnoses of hidden diseases and suggestions for 
remedies, &c. You will find many examples of 
each of these groups of phenomena on record and 
well attested. 

A very interesting anecdote is related in Mr. 
Dale Owen's Debatable Landy about the identifica- 
tion of an old spinet, purchased at a Paris bric-a- 
brac shop, by the grandson of the famous com- 
poser. Bach. The details are very curious, and you 
will do well to read them, though lack of time pre- 
vents my entering more at length Into the subject 
at present. 

But, of all forms of Intelligent communication 
from the other world to ours, none is to be com- 
pared for startling realism with that of the audible 
voice. I have heard these voices of every volume, 
from the faintest whisper close to the ear, sound- 
ing like the sigh of a zephyr through the trees, to 
the stentorian roar that would well-nigh shake 
the room and might have been heard far away 
from the house. I have heard them speak to 



232 SPIRITUALISM AND 7 HEOSOPIIV. 

me through paper tubes, through metal trumpets, 
through empty space. And in the case of the 
world-famous medium, William Eddy, the voices 
spoke in four languages, of which the medium knew 
not a word. Of the Eddy phenomena, however, I 
shall have more to say presently. 

One of the prettiest — I should say the most 
charming of all, but for the recollection of the 
fairy-like music — of mediumist phenomena is the 
bringing of fresh, dew-begemmed flowers, plants and 
vines, and of living creatures such as birds, gold- 
fish and butterflies, into closed rooms while the 
medium was in no state to bring them herself. I 
have myself, in friends' houses, held the hands of a 
medium, whom I had first put into a bag that was 
fastened about her neck with a sealed drawing- 
string, and with no confederate in the house, have 
had the whole table covered with flowers and plants, 
and birds came fluttering into my lap, goodness 
knows whence. And this with every door and 
window fastened, and sealed with strips of paper 
so that no one could enter from the outside. These 
phenomena happened mostly in the dark, but once 
I saw a tree-branch brought in the day light. I 
was present once at a seance in America when a 
gentleman asked that the "spirits " might bring him 
a heather-plant from the Scottish moors, and sud- 
denly a heather-plant, pulled up by the roots and 
with the fresh soil clinging to them, was dropped 
on the table directly in front of him. 

A highly interesting example of the non-intelli- 



SPIRITUALISM AND THE OS PHY. 233 

gent class of phenomena came under my notice in 
the course of our search after a medium to send 
to Russia. A lady medium, a Mrs. Youngs, had 
a reputation for causing a pianoforte to rise from 
the floor and sway in time to her inlaying upon the 
instrument. Madame Blavatsky and myself went 
one evening to see her, and what happened was 
reported in the New York papers of the following 
day. As she .sat at the piano playing, it certainly 
did tilt on the two outer legs — those farthest from 
her — and, with the other two raised six or eight 
inches from the ground, move in time to the music. 
Mrs. Youngs then went to one end of the piano, and, 
laying a single finger against the under side of the 
case, lifted the tremendous weight w^ith the greatest 
ease. If any of you care to compute the volume of 
psychic force exerted, try to lift one end of a 7J 
octave piano six inches from the floor. To test the 
reality of this phenomenon I had brought with me 
a raw Qgg, which I held in the palm of my hand and 
pressed it lightly against the under side of the piano 
case at one end. I then caused the medium to lay 
the palm of one of her hands against the back of 
mine that held the egg, and told her to command 
the piano to rise. A moment's pause only ensued, 
when, to my surprise," our end of the piano did 
rise without so much pressure upon the egg as to 
break the shell. I think that this, as a test of the 
actuality of a psychic force, was almost as conclu- 
sive an experiment as the water-basin and spring- 
balance of Mr. Crookes. At least it was so to me ; 



234 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPIIY. 

for I can affirm that the medium did not press so 
much as an ounce weight against the back of my 
hand, and it is quite certain that but very few 
ounces of pressure would have broken the thin 
shell of the Q.gg. 

One of the most undeniable manifestations of in- 
dependent force is the raising and rhoving of a 
heavy weight, without human contact. This, I, in 
common with many other investigators, have wit- 
nessed. Sitting at a table in the centre of my 
own lighted drawing-room, I have seen the piano 
raised and moved a foot away from the wall, and a 
heavy leathern arm-chair run from a distant corner 
towards and touch us, when no one was within 
a dozen feet of either. On another occasion 
my late friend and chemical teacher. Professor 
Mapes, a very corpulent person, and two other 
men, equally stout, were requested to seat them- 
selves on a mahogany dining-table, and all were 
raised from the ground, the medium merely lay- 
ing one hand on the top of the table. At Mrs. 
Youngs' house, on the evening before noticed, as 
many persons as could sit on the top of the piano 
were raised with the instrument while she was play- 
ing a waltz. The records are full of instances where 
rooms, or even whole houses, were caused by the 
occult force to shake and tremble as though a hur- 
ricane were blowing, though the air was quite still. 
And we have the testimony of Lords Lindsay, 
Adare, Dunraven, and other unimpeachable wit- 
nesses, to the fact of a medium's body having 



SPIRIIUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 235 

floated around the room and sailed out of a window, 
seventy feet from the ground, and into another 
window. This was in an obscure light ; but I have 
seen in the twilight a person raised out of her 
chair until her head was as high as the globes of 
the chandelier, and then gently lowered down 
again. 

You see I am telling you stories so wonderful 
that it is impossible for any one to fully credit them 
without the corroboration of personal experience. 
Believe me, I would not tell them at all— 
for no man desires to have his word doubted — 
unless I knew perfectly well that such phenomena 
have been seen hundreds of times in nearly every 
land under the sun, and can be seen by anyone 
who will give time to the investigation. Despite 
my disclaimer, you may think I am taking it 
for granted that you are quite as well satisfied as 
myself of the reality of the mediumist phenomena ; 
but I assure you that is not the case. I am alw ays 
keeping in mind, that, no matter what respect an 
auditor may have for my integrity and my intellig- 
ence, no matter how plainly he may see that I can 
have no ulterior motive to deceive him — yet he 
cannot believe without having himself had the 
same demonstrative evidences. He will — because 
he must— reflect that such things as these are 
outside the usual experience of men ; and that, 
as Hume puts it, it is more reasonable to believe 
any man a liar than that the even course of natural 
law should be disturbed. True, that assumes the 



236 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 

absurd premiss that the average man knows what 
are the Hmitatlons of natural law; but we never con- 
sider our own opinions absurd^ no matter how 
others may regard them. So knowing, as I have 
just remarked, that what I describe has been seen 
by thousands, and may be seen by thousands more 
at any time, I proceed with my narrative as one who 
tells the truth and fears no impeachment. It is a 
great wonder that which we are having shown us in 
our days, and, apart from the solemn interest which 
attaches to the problem whether or not the dead 
are communing with us, the scientific importance 
of these facts cannot be undervalued. From the 
first — that is to say, throughout my twenty-eight 
years of observations — I have pursued my inquiry 
in this spirit, believing it to be of prime impor- 
tance to mankind to ascertain all that can be 
learnt about man's powers and the forces of nature 
about him. 

I shall now relate briefly my adventures at 
the Eddy homestead, in Vermont. For some 
years previous to 1874, I had taken no active in- 
terest in mediumist phenomena. Nothing sur- 
passingly novel had been reported as occur- 
ring, and the intelligence communicated through 
mediums was not usually instructive enough to in- 
duce one to leave his books and the company of 
their great authors. But in that year it was 
rumoured that at a remote village, in the valley of 
the Green Mountains, an illiterate farmer and his 
equally ignorant brother were being visited daily 



SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 237 

by the " materialized " souls of the departed, who 
could be seen, heard, and, in cases, touched by any 
visitor. This tempting novelty I determined to 
witness ; for it certainly transcended In Interest 
and Importance anything ever heard of In any 
age. Accordingly, In August of that year, I pro- 
ceeded to Chittenden, the village In question, and, 
with a single brief Intermission of ten days, re- 
mained there until the latter part of October. I 
hope you will believe that I adopted every possible 
precaution against being befooled by village trick- 
ery. The room of the ghosts was a large chamber 
occupying the whole upper floor of a two-storey 
wing of the house. It was perhaps twenty feet 
wide by forty long — I speak from memory. Below 
were two rooms, a kitchen and a pantry. The 
kitchen chimney was In the gable end, of course, 
and passed through the seance room to the roof 
It projected Into the room two feet, and at the 
right, between It and the side of the house, was a 
plastered closet, with a door next to the chimney. A 
window, two feet square, had been cut In the outer 
wall of the closet, to admit air. Running across 
this end of the large room was a narrow platform, 
raised about eighteen inches from the floor, with 
a step to mount by at the extreme left, and a hand- 
rail or baluster, along the front edge of the platform. 
Every evening, after the last meal, William Eddy, 
a stout-built, square-shouldered, hard-handed far- 
mer, would go upstairs, hang a thick woollen shawl 
across the doorway, enter the closet and seat him- 



238 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 

self on a low chair that stood at the extreme end. 
The visitors, who sometimes numbered forty of an 
evening, were accommodated on benches placed 
within a few feet of the platform. Horatio Eddy 
sat on a chair in front, discoursed doleful music 
on a fiddle, and led the singing — if such it might be 
called, without causing Mozart to turn in his grave ; 
a feeble light was given by a kerosene lamp, placed 
on the floor at the end of the room farthest from 
the platform, in an old drum from which both heads 
had been removed. Though the light was certainly 
very dim, yet it sufficed to enable us to see if any- 
one left his seat, and to distinguish through the 
gloom the height and costumes of the visitors from 
the other world. At a first sitting this was difficult, 
but practice soon accustomed one's eyes to the con- 
ditions. 

After an interval of singing and fiddle-scraping, 
sometimes of five, sometimes of twenty or thirty 
minutes, we would see the shawl stirred ; it would 
be pushed aside, and out upon the platform would 
step some figure. It might be a man, woman, or 
child, a decrepit veteran, or a babe carried in a 
woman's arms. The figure would have nothing at 
all of the supernatural or ghostly about it. A 
stranger entering at the other end of the room would 
simply fancy that a living mortal was standing there, 
ready to address an audience. Its dress would be 
the one it wore in life, its face, hands, feet, gestures, 
perfectly natural. Sometimes it would call the 
name of the living friend it had come to meet. If 



SPIRITUALISM AND 7HE0S0PHY. 239 

it were strong, the voice would be of the natural 
tone ; if weak, the words came in faint whispers ; 
if still more feeble, there was no voice at all, but 
the figure would stand leaning against the chimney 
or hand-rail while the audience asked in turn — '' Is 
it for me ? " and it either bowed its head or caused 
raps to sound in the wall when the right one asked 
the question. Then the anxious visitor would lean 
forward and scan the figure's appearance in the dim 
light, and often we would hear the joyful cry, " Oh I 
mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter," or 
what not, '' I know you." Then the weird visitor 
would be seen to bow, or stretch out its hands, and 
then, seeming to gather the last strength that re- 
mained to it in its evanescent frame, glide into the 
closet again, and drop the shawl before the hungry 
gaze of the eyes that watched it. But sometimes 
the form would last much longer. Several times I 
saw come out of the closet an aged lady clad in 
the Quaker costume, with lawn cap and kerchief 
pinned across her bosom, grey dress and long house- 
wifely apron, and calling her son to the platform 
seat herself in a chair beside him, and, after kissing 
him fondly, talk for some minutes with him in low 
tones about family matters. All the while she 
would be absently folding the hem of her apron 
into tucks and smoothing them out again, and so 
continuing the thing over and over just as — her son 
told me — she was in the habit of doing while alive. 
More than once, just as she was ready to disappear, 
this gentleman would take her arm in his, come to 



240 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 

the baluster, and say that he was requested by his 
old mother whom we saw there, although she had 
been dead many years, to certify that it was indeed 
she herself and no deception, and bid them realize 
that man lives beyond the grave, and so live here 
as to ensure their happiness then. 

I will not attempt to give you, in these few 
minutes of our lecture,' even the bare outline of my 
observations during those eventful weeks. Suffice it 
to say that I saw as many as seventeen of these 
revenants in a single evening, and that from first to 
last I saw about five hundred. There were a 
certain few figures that seemed especially attached 
to the medium's sphere or influence ; but the rest 
were the appearances of friends of the strangers 
who daily flocked to the place from the most distant 
localities — some as far away as 2,000 miles. There 
were Americans and Europeans, Africans and 
Asiatics, Red Indians of our prairies and white 
people, each wearing his familiar dress, and some 
even carrying their familiar weapons. One evening 
the figure of a Kurd, a man whom Madame Blavat- 
sky had known in Kurdistan, stepped from the 
closet, clad in his tall cap, high boots, and pictur- 
esque clothes. In the shawl twisted about his waist 
were thrust a curved sword and other small arms. 
His hands were empty, but, after salaaming my 
friend in the native fashion, lo! his right hand held 
a twelve foot spear which bore below the steel head 
a tuft of feathers. Now, supposing this farmer 
medium to have been ever so much a cheat, whence 



SPIRITUALISM AND THKOSOPHY, 241 

in that secluded hamlet did he procure this Kurdish 
dress, the belt, the arms and the spear at a moment's 
notice? Madame Blavatsky had just arrived at 
Chittenden, and neither I nor any one else knew 
who she was, nor whence she came. All my 
experiences there were described by me, first in a 
series of letters to a New York journal, and after- 
wards in book form,* and I must refer the curious 
to that record for details, both as to what was seen 
and what precautions I took against deception. 
Two suspicions have doubtless occurred to your 
minds while I have been speaking — [a) that some 
confederate or confederates got access to the 
medium through the closet-window, or dresses and 
dolls were passed up to him from below through a 
trap or sliding panel. Of course they would occur 
to any one with the least ingenuity of thought. 
They occurred to me; and this is what I did. I 
procured a ladder, and on the outside of the house 
tacked a piece of mosquito-net over the entire 
window, sash, frame, and all, sealing the tack-heads 
with wax, and stamping each with my signet ring. 
This effectually prevented any nonsense from that 
quarter. And then calling to my help an architect 
and a clever Yankee Inventor and mechanician, 
with those gentlemen I made a minute practical 
examination of the chimney, the floor, the platform, 
the rooms below, and the lumberloft overhead. We 
were all perfectly satisfied that if there was any 
trickery in the case it was done by William Eddy 

* People fro7)i the Other World, 
Q 



242 SPIRITUALISM AND IHEOSOPHY. 

himself without confederacy, and that if he used 
theatrical dresses or properties, he must carry them 
in with him. In the little narrow hole of a closet 
there was neither candle, mirror, brush, wig, 
clothes, water-basin, towel, cosmetic, nor any other 
of the actor's paraphernalia; nor, to speak the truth, 
had the poor farmer the money to buy such. 
He took no fee for his seances, and visitors were 
charged only a very small sum for their board and 
lodging. I have sat smoking with him in his kitchen 
until it was time for the seance to begin, gone with 
him to the upper chamber, examined the closet 
before he entered it, searched his person, and then 
seen the selfsame wonderful figures come out as 
usual in their various dresses. I think I may claim 
to have proceeded cautiously; for Mr. A. R. Wallace, 
F.R.S., quoted and eulogised my book in his recent 
controversy with Professor W. B. Carpenter. Car- 
penter himself sent to America to inquire into my 
character for veracity, and publicly admitted it to 
be unimpeachable. Professor Wagner of St. Peters- 
burg reviewed the work in a special pamphlet, in 
which he affirms that I fulfilled every requirement 
of scientific research, and three European Psycho- 
logical Societies elected me Honorary Member. It 
should also be noted that four years of very re- 
sponsible and intricate examinations on behalf of 
the War Department — during our late American 
War, the proofs of which service have been shown 
by me to the Indi-an authorities — qualified me to 
conduct this inquiry with at least a tolerable 



SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 243 

certainty that I should not be imposed upon. Hav- 
ing then seen all that has now been outlined to you 
will you wonder that I should have been thoroughly 
convinced of the reality of a large group of psychic 
phenomena, for which science helplessly tries to offer 
some explanation ? And can you be surprised 
that whatever man of science has,since i848,seriously 
and patiently investigated modern Spiritualism, 
has become a convert, no matter what his religious 
belief or professional bias ? 

The mention of religion leads me to notice a 
certain fact. While the Protestant Church has in 
our time ever resolutely denied the reality of such 
manifestations of occult agencies, the Church of 
Rome has always admitted them to be true. In 
her rubrics there are special forms of exorcism, 
and Miss Laura Edmonds — the gifted daughter of 
the honoured American jurist above-mentioned, 
and one of the most remarkable mediums of this 
modern movement, united herself with the Catholic 
Church — her confessor, a Paulist Brother of New 
York, driving out her obsessing " devils " in due 
form after — as he told me — a terrific strucfGfle. 
Mediumship was anathematized by the late Pope 
himself as a dangerous device of the Evil One, and 
the faithful were warned against the familiars of the 
circle, as his agents for the ruin of souls. There has 
appeared in France, within the past few years, a 
series of books by the Chevalier des Mousseaux, 
highly applauded by the Catholic prelates, especially 
designed to collate the most striking proofs of the 



244 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 

demoniac ^.^^wcy in the phenomena. They are all 
valuable repositories of psychic facts, one especially, 
Les Moejirs et Pratiques des Demons, which every 
student of Occultism should read. The industrious 
author, of course, convinces no one but Catholics as 
to his premisses, but his facts are most welcome and 
suggestive. Though there is not a grain of religious 
orthodoxy in me, and though I do not in the least 
sympathize with the demoniacal theory, yet I find, 
after learning what I have learnt of Asiatic psycho- 
logical science, that the Catholics are much nearer 
right in recognizing and warning against the dangers 
of mediumship, than the Protestants in blindly deny- 
ing the reality of the phenomena. Mediumship is 
a peril indeed, and the last thing I should wish would 
be to see one in whom I was interested become a 
medium. The Hindus — who have known these 
phenomena from time immemorial — give the most 
appropriate name of bJiuta dak, or demons' post, to 
these unfortunates. I do sincerely hope that sooner 
or later the experience of India in this matter will be 
studied, and that if mediumship is to be encouraged 
at all, it will be under such protective restriction 
as the ancient Sybils enjoyed in the temples, 
under the watchful care of initiated priests. This 
is not the language of a Spiritualist, nor am I one. 
In the reality of the phenomena, and the existence 
of the psychic force, I do most unreservedly believe; 
but here my concurrence wath the Spiritualists ends. 
For more than twenty years I was of their opinion, 
and shared, with Mr. Owen and Mr. Wallace, the 



SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 245 

conviction that the phenomena could not be attri- 
buted to any other agency than that of the departed 
ones. I could not understand how the intelligence 
behind the manifestations could be otherwise ac- 
counted for, especially that shown in such cases as 
I have mentioned, where the facts related were un- 
known to any one at the seance, and only verified 
long afterwards in distant countries. But until 
meeting Madame Blavatsky at the Eddys', I had not 
even heard of Asiatic Occultism as a science. The 
tales of travellers and the stories of the Arabian 
Nights I set down to fanciful exaggeration, and all 
that was printed about Indian jugglers, and the 
powers of ascetics, seemed but accounts of success- 
ful prestidigitations. I now look back to that 
meeting as the most fortunate event of my life ; for 
it made light shine in all the dark places, and sent 
me out on a mission to help to revive Aryan Occult 
science, which grows more absorbingly interesting 
every day. It is my happiness to not only help to 
enlarge the boundaries of Western science by show- 
ing where the secrets of nature and of man may be 
experimentally studied, and to give Anglo-Indians 
a greater respect for the subject nation they rule 
over, but also to aid in kindling in the bosoms of 
Indian youths a due reverence for their glorious 
ancestry, and a desire to imitate them in their noble 
achievements in science and philosophy. This, my 
friends, is the sole cause of our coming to India ; 
this explains our affectionate relations with the 
people, our respect for their real Yogis. Each of 



246 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 

you looks forward to the day when you will return 
to your English home : our honrie is here, and here 
we mean to end our days. 

The handbills announce me as the President of 
the Theosophical Society ; and you arc gathered here 
to learn what Theosophy is. and what are its 
relations with Spiritualism. 

Let me say, then, that in the sense given to it by 
those who first used it, the word means divine 
wisdom, or the knowledge of divine things. The 
lexicographers handicap the idea with the suggestion 
that it meant the knowledge of God, the deity 
before their minds being a personal one ; but such 
was not the intention of the early Theosophists. 
Essentially, a Theosophical Society is one which 
favours man's original acquisition of knowledge 
about the hidden things of the universe, by the 
education and perfecting of his own latent powers. 
Theosophy differs as widely from philosophy as it 
does from theology. It has been truly said that, in 
investigating tlie divine nature and attributes, 
philosophy proceeds entirely by the dialectic 
m.ethod, employing as the basis of its investigation 
the ideas derived from natural reason ; theology, 
still employing the same method, superadds to the 
principles of natural reason those derived from 
authority and revelation. Theosophy, on the con- 
trary, professes to exclude all dialectical process, 
and to derive its whole knowledge of God from 
direct intuition and contemplation. This Theo- 
sophy dates from the highest antiquity of v/hich any 



SPIRITUALTSM AND THEOSOPHY. 247 

records are preserved, and every original founder 
of a religion was a seeker after divine wisdom 
by the theosophic process of self- illumination. 
Where do we find in our day the facilities for 
pursuing this glorious study ? Where are the 
training schools worthy to be successors of those 
of the Neo-Platonists of Alexandria, the Hiero- 
phants of Egypt, the Theodidaktoi of Greece, or 
— more especially — the Rishis of Aryavarta, noblest 
of all initiates, save only the stainless, the illumin- 
ated Gautama Buddha ? 

Think for a moment what this theosophical 
study exacts of a man who would really penetrate 
the mysteries and become a true ilhnninatus. The 
lusts of the flesh, the pride of life, the prejudices of 
birth, race, creed (so far as it creates dogmatism), 
must all be put aside. The body must be made 
the convenience, instead of the despot, of the 
higher self. The prison-bars of sense that incar- 
cerate the man of matter must be unlocked, and 
while living In and being a factor In the outer 
vv'orld, the Theosophist must be able to look into, 
enter, act in, and return from, the innerworld, fraught 
with divine truth. Are there — were there ever — 
such men, such demigods rather let us say ? There 
were ; there are. The legends of the past may 
seem to us tinged with error, wild and fantastic 
even ; but, nevertheless, such men as these existed 
and displayed their powers, in many countries, at 
various epochs. And nowhere more than in India, 
this blessed land of the Sun — now so poor, 



248 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPIIY. 

Spiritless, famished and degraded. This was the 
home of ancient Theosophy ; here — upon these 
very Himalayan mountains that tower so high 
yonder — lived and taught the men who won the 
prize of divine knowledge ; whose wisdom — a 
fertilizing stream — flowed through Grecian and 
Egyptian channels towards the West. Believe me 
or not, as you will, I am fully persuaded that there 
still linger among these fastnesses, out of the 
poisoned moral atmosphere of this nineteenth- 
century social life, safe from the blight and perse- 
cution of bigotry and intolerant modern supersti- 
tion, safe from the cruel malice of scepticism, — those 
who are true Theosophists.. Neither pessimist nor 
optimist, I am not satisfied that our race is doomed 
to destruction, present or future, nor that the moral 
sense of society can be kept undiminished without 
constant refreshment from the parent fount. That 
fount I conceive to be Theosophical study and per- 
sonal illumination, and I regard him as a bene- 
factor to his kind who points out to the sceptical, 
the despairing, the world-weary, the heart-hungry, 
that the vanities of the world do not satisfy the 
soul's aspirations, and that true happiness can only 
be acquired by interior self-development, purifica- 
tion and enlightenment. It is not in accordance 
with the abstract principles of justice that the world 
should be left entirely without such exemplars of 
spiritual wisdom. I do not believe it ever was, or 
ever will be. 

To him who takes up this course of effort, the 



SPIRITUALISM AND TIIEOSOPHY. 249 

phenomena of medlumshlp are transcendently Im- 
portant, for they usher him into the realm of the 
Unseen, and show him some of the weirdest secrets 
of our human nature. Along with mediumship he 
studies vital magnetism, its laws and phenomena, 
and the Odyle of Baron Reichenbach, which to- 
gether show us the real nature and polarities of this 
force, and the fact that it seems to be akin to the 
one great force pervading all Nature. Further 
proof he draws from Buchanan's psychometry, and 
from experiments with those whom he finds to be 
endowed with the psychometrical faculty. If there 
are any here to whom the word is new, let me ex- 
plain that psychometry is a name given by the 
modern discoverer to a certain power, possessed by 
about one person in four, to receive intuitive im- 
pressions of the character of the writer of a letter, 
or the painter of a picture, by direct contact with 
the manuscript or painting. We are all of us con- 
stantly leaving the impress of our character upon 
everything we touch, as the loadstone imparts some 
of its properties to every needle it is rubbed against. 
A subtle something — magnetism, or vital fluid, or 
psychic force — constantly exudes from us. We 
leave it on the ground, and our dog finds us ; on our 
clothing, and the slaver's blood-hound sniffs the 
scent and tracks the poor runaway to his hiding- 
place. We saturate with it the walls of our houses, 
and a sensitive psychometer, upon entering our 
drawing-room, can unerringly tell, before seeing the 
family, whether that is a happy home or one of strife. 



250 SPIRITUALISM AND 7 HE OS PHY, 

We are surrounded by it as a sensitive vapour, and 
when we meet each other we silently take in our 
impression of our mutual congeniality or antipathy. 
Women have this sense more than men, and many 
are the instances where a wife's prophetic intuition, 
unheeded and ridiculed by the husband in the case 
of some new acquaintance, has afterwards been 
recalled, with regret that it should have been dis- 
regarded. Good psychometers can even take from 
any fragment of inanimate matter, such as a bit of 
an old building, or a shred of an old garment, a 
vivid impression of all the scenes of its history. 
In its highest manifestation psychometry becomes 
true clairvoyance, and, when that soul sight is 
indeed opened, the eye within us that never grows 
lustreless shows us the arcana of the unseen 
universe. 

Theosophy shows the student that evolution is a 
fact, but that it has not been partial and incomplete, 
as Darwin's theory makes it. As there has been an 
evolution in physical nature, the crown and flower 
of which is physical man, so there has been a 
parallel evolution in the realm of spirit. The out- 
come of this is the psychic or inner man ; and, just 
as in this visible nature about us we see myriads of 
forms lower than ourselves, so the Theosophist 
finds in the te?'ra incognita of the physicist — the 
realm of the " unknowable " — countless minor 
psychical types, with man at the top of the ascend- 
ing series. Physicists know of the elements only 
in their chemical or dynamiic relations and proper- 



SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY, 251 

ties ; but he who has mastered the Occult Sciences 
finds, dweUing in fire, air, earth and water, a sub- 
human order of beings, some inimical, some favour- 
able to man. He not only comes to a knowledge 
of them, but also to the power of controlling them. 
The folk-lore of the world has embalmed many 
truths about this power, which is none the less a 
fact because the modern biologist rejects and ridi- 
cules it. You who come from Ireland or the Scot- 
tish Highlands know that these things exist. I do 
not surmise this ; I knozv it. I speak thus calmly and 
boldly about the subject, because I have met these 
proficients of Asiatic Occultism and seen them 
exercise their power. This is why I ceased to call 
myself a Spiritualist in 1874, and why, in 1875, I 
united with others to found a Theosophical Society, 
to promote the study of these natural phenomena. 
The most wonderful facts of mediumship I have 
seen produced at will, and in full daylight, by one 
who had learnt the secret sciences in India and 
Eg3'pt. Under such circumstances, I have seen 
showers of roses made to fall in a room ; letters from 
people in far countries to drop from space into 
my lap ; heard sweet music, coming from afar upon 
the air, grow louder and louder until it was in the 
room, and then die away again, out in the still 
atmosphere, until it was no more. I have seen 
writing made to appear upon paper and slates laid 
upon the floor, drawings upon the ceiling beyond 
any one's reach, pictures upon paper without the 
employment of pencil or colour, articles duplicated 



252 SPTRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 

before my very eyes, a living person instantly dis- 
appear out of my sight, jet black hair cut from a 
fair-haired person's head. I have had absent friends 
and distant scenes shown me in a crystal ; and, in 
America, more than a hundred times, upon opening 
letters upon various subjects comJng to me by the 
common post, from correspondents in all parts 
of the world, have found inside, written in their own 
familiar hand, messages to me from men in India 
who possess the Theosophical knowledge of natural 
law. Nay, upon one occasion, I even saw sum- 
moned before me as perfectly " materialized " a 
figure as any that ever stalked out of William 
Eddy's cabinet of marvels. If it is not strange that 
the Spiritualist, who sees mediumist phenomena, 
but know^s nothing of Occult science, should believe 
in the intervention of spirits of the dead, is it any 
stranger that I, after receiving so many proofs of 
what the trained human will can accomplish, should 
be a Theosophist and no longer a Spiritualist ? I 
have not even half exhausted the catalogue of 
proofs vouchsafed to me during the last five years 
as to the reality of Asiatic psychological science. 
But I hope I have enumerated enough to show you 
that there are mysteries in India worth seeking, and 
men here who are far more acquainted with Nature's 
Occult forces than either of those much-initialed 
gentlemen who set themselves up for professors 
and biologists. 

It will be asked what evidence I offer that the 
intelligent phenomena of the mediums are not to 



SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 253 

be ascribed to our departed friends. In reply, I 
ask what uninipeachable evidence there is that 
they are. If it can be shown that the soul of the 
living medium can, unconsciously to his physical 
self, ooze out, and, by its elastic and protean nature, 
take on the appearance of any deceased person 
whose image it sees in a visitor's memory ; if all 
the phenomena can be produced at will by an 
educated psychologist ; if, in the ether of science — 
the Akasa of the Hindus, the Anima Mundi of the 
Theosophists, the Astral Light of the Kabalists — 
the images of all persons and events, and the vibra- 
tions of every sound, are eternally preserved — as 
these Occultists affirm and experimentally prove — 
if all this be true, then why is it necessary to call in 
the spirits of the dead to explain what may be 
done by the living ? So long as no alternative 
theory was accessible, the Spiritualists held im- 
pregnable ground against materialist science ; 
theirs was the only possible way to account for 
what they saw. But, given the alternative, and • 
shown the resources of psychology and the nature of 
the unseen universe, you see the Spiritualists are 
at once thrown upon the defensive, without the 
ability to silence their critics. The casual observer 
would say it is impossible, for instance, for that 
aged Quaker lady's figure to be anything but her 
own returning soul — that her son could not have 
been mistaken, and that, if there were any doubt, 
otherwise, her familiar knowledge of their family 
matters, and even her old habit of alternately plait- 



254 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 

ing and smoothing out her lawn apron, identify her 
amply. But the figure did nothing and said no- 
thing that was not fixed in the son's memory, — 
indelibly stamped there, however long the dormant 
pictures might have been obscured by fresher 
images. And the medium's body being entranced 
and his active vitality transferred to his inner self, 
or "double," that double could make itself appear 
under the guise of the dead lady, and catch and 
comment UDon the familiar incidents it found in 
the son's magnetic atmosphere. This will be hard 
for you to comprehend ; for our Western scientific 
discoveries have not as yet crossed the threshold of 
this hidden world of force. But progress is the law 
of human thought, and we are now so near the 
verge of the chasm that divides physical from 
spiritual science, that it will not be long before we 
shall bridge it. Let this stand as a prophecy ; if you 
bide patiently you will see it fulfilled. This, then, 
is the present attitude of parties. The promulga- 
tion of our views, and of many reports by eye- 
witnesses of things done by members of the 
Theosophical Society, has been causing great talk 
all over the world. A large number of the most 
intelligent Spiritualists have joined us, and are 
giving their countenance to work. Groups of our 
sympathizers have organized themselves into 
branches in many different countries. Even here, 
in Simla, there has sprung up the nucleus of what 
will be an Anglo-Indian branch. No country in 
the world affords so wide a field as India for 



SPIRITUALISM AND THE SO PHY. 255 

psychological study. What we Europeans call 
animal magnetism has been known here, and prac- 
tised in its highest perfection, for countless centuries. 
The Hindus know equally well the life-principle in 
man, animal and plant. All over India, if search 
were but made, you would find in the possession of 
the natives many facts that it is most important for 
Europe and America to know. And you, gentle- 
men of the civil and military branches of the public 
service, are the proper persons to undertake the 
work, with Hindu help. Be just and kind to them 
and they will tell you a thousand things which they 
now keep as profound secrets. Our policy is one 
of general conciliation and co-operation for the 
discovery of truth. Some tale-bearer has started 
the report that our Society is preaching a new 
religion. This is false. The Society has no more 
a religion of its own than the Asiatic, the Geogra- 
phical, or the Astronomical Society. As those 
Societies have their separate sections, each devoted 
to some speciality of research, so have we. We 
take in persons of all religions and of every race, 
and treat all with equal respect and impartiality. 
We have royal, noble, and plebeian blood among 
us. Edison is a member of ours, and Crookes, and 
Wallace, and Camille Flammarion, and Lord Lind- 
say, and Lane-Fox, and Baron du Potet, and the 
octogenarian Cahagnet, and scores of men of 
similar intellectual calibre. We have but one 
passionate and consuming ambition — that of learn- 
ing what man is, what nature is. Are there any 



256 SPIRITUALISM AND THEOSOPHY. 

here who sympathize with these aspirations, any 
who feel within their hearts the glow of true man- 
hood — any who put a higher value upon divine 
wisdom than upon the honours and rewards of the 
lower life ? Come then, brother dreamers, and let 
us combine our efforts and our good-will. Let us 
see if we cannot win happiness for ourselves in 
striving to benefit others. Let us do what we can 
to rescue from the oblivion of centuries that price- 
less knowledge of divine things which we call 
TliEOSOrHY. 



INDIA: PAST, PRESENT, AND 

FUTURE.* 



THE PAST. 

When we look over the accounts that have been 
written within our own modern historical period 
about the migrations of peoples, the rise and fall of 
empires, the characters of great men, the relative 
progress of science, of the arts, of literature, of phil- 
osophy, and religion ; and when we see how the 
positive assertions of one writer are denied point- 
blank by another, and then the facts of both proved 
false by a third who comes after them, is it too much 
to say that history is, for the most part, a system of 
bold lying and ignorant mis-statement? I think not. 
And I am quite sure that out of all the historians 
who have appeared during this epoch that I have 
mentioned, hardly one can be acquitted, or will be 
acquitted by posterity, of Incompetence or of some- 
thing worse. Of all the untrustworthy historians, 
the worst Is he who writes In the Interest of some 
one religion against the religions of others. It 
would seem as though, no matter what his creed, 
he considered it a pious duty to lie as much "as 

* A Lecture delivered at Amritsar, 29th October, iSSo. 

R 



258 INDIA : PAS T, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 

possible for the glory of his particular God. A 
similar blight is seen resting upon the consciences 
of political historians, though not so fatally ; for if 
their party interests are but cared for, they can 
afford to be, in a measure, fair in other directions. 
It seems impossible, therefore, to gather any idea 
of either Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Assyrian, 
European, or American history without reading all 
the historians together and extracting the truth out 
of the clash and conflict of error. 

It will not be required that I should give, in the 
very short time for which I shall detain you, 
either a list of the historians or specimen extracts 
from their works, upon which I have based an 
opinion shared by many of the ablest com- 
mentators. Suffice it to say that the European 
historiographers have never had until within a very 
recent period — hardly more than a century — 
any materials for writing even the most meagre 
outline of Aryan history. Until Sir William 
Jones and his compeers, and the Frenchman 
Burnouf, led the way into the splendid garden of 
Sanskrit literature ; until the astonished eyes 
of the West saw its glorious flowers of poesy, 
its fruits of metaphysics and of philosophy, its 
crystalline rivulets of science, its magnificent 
structures of philology ; no one dreamed that 
the world had had any history worth speaking of 
before the times of the Greek and Roman civil- 
izations. Western ideas of Egyptian, Persian, 
Babylonian, Chinese, and Indian achievements — 



INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 259 

physical, Intellectual, and moral — were as hazy 
as a fog. Like the wayfarer who tries, with the 
help of the street gas-lamps and the lanterns of 
his servants, to pick his way through London 
streets, when one of those dense fogs of theirs turns 
noon into dark night, the historians were groping 
after facts through the mists of their own ignor- 
ance and religious prejudice. You may look 
through any great library you please, and you will 
find there whole shelves of authors who have tried 
their best to prove that everything has happened 
within the last 6,000 years. You will see some not 
ashamed or afraid to say that Asia derived her re- 
ligious ideas, her industries, and her very language, 
from the Jews or early Christians; you can find books 
which try to prove that Sanskrit is a derivative from 
the Hebrew. You can also read arguments from 
Christian writers to show that the parental resem- 
blance of Hindu mythology to Biblical stories is due 
to the fact that St. Thomas, one of the alleged dis- 
ciples of Jesus, came to India and preached his re- 
ligion here ! The theory that Aryavarta was the 
cradle of European civilization, the Aryans the pro- 
genitors of the Western peoples, and their literature 
the source and spring of all Western religions and 
philosophies, is comparatively a thing of yesterday. 
Professor Max Miiller and a few other Sanskritists of 
our generation have been bringing about this change 
in Western ideas. Let us hope that before many 
more years roll by, we may know the whole 
truth about Aryan civihzation, and that your 



26o INDIA'. PAS 7 PRESENT, AND FUTURE, 

ancestors (and ours) will be honoured according to 
their deserts. The pride of the modern world may 
receive a shock ; but the ancients will be vindicated, 
and the cause of truth advanced. 

The fact will then appear, far more distinctly 
than even now, that long before the first page of 
the Bible was written, generations before the Jews 
had a nationality to boast of, before the foundations 
of Babylon were laid, or the first stone of the 
Egyptian pyramids had been hewn — which, 
according to Bunsen and Boeckh, must have 
been more than 5,700 years B.C. — the Aryans 
were enjoying a splendid civilization, and had per- 
fected a grammar and language with which none 
other can compare. If asked to prove my words, 
I may do so by propounding a question. To what 
age of the world's history must the beginnings of 
the Egyptian State, the monarchy of Mena, the 
founder of Egypt, be carried back ? Those most 
interested in the solution of this problem hesitate 
even as to the duration of IManetho's dynasties — 
from Mena to the last Pharaoh — the most eminent 
modern Egyptologists not daring to assign it a 
more recent period than between 5,000 and 6,000 
years B.C. And what do they find on the very 
threshold of Egyptian history, further back than 
which Western history cannot penetrate? They find 
a State of the most marvellous civilization, a State 
already so advanced that in contemplating it one 
has to repeat with Renan, " one feels giddy at the 
very idea {on est pris de vertlge),'' and with Brugsch, 



INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 261 

*' there are no ages of stone, bronze and iron in 
Egypt. . . . We must openly acknowledge 
the fact that, up to this time at least, Egypt throws 
scorn upon these assumed periods." And now, 
Egyptian history and civilization being the most 
ancient we have, and this history picturing to us, 
nearly 8,000 years ago, a people already highly 
civilized, not in the material sense alone, as Brugsch 
tells us, but in social and political order, morality 
and religion, the next question would be why we 
should say that India and not Egypt is the older? 
My reason may seem at first sight paradoxical ; 
yet, nevertheless, I answer — because nothing is 
knoivn of India, 8,000 years ago. When I say 
nothing is known, I mean known by its, the Western 
nations, for the Brahmins have their own chronology, 
and no one has the means of proving that their 
calculations are exaggerated. But we Europeans 
know nothing, or at least have known nothing 
of it until now ; but have good reason to more 
than suspect that India, 8,000 years ago, sent 
a colony of emigrants who carried their arts and 
high civilization into what is now known to us as 
Egypt. This is what Brugsch Bey, the most 
modern as well as the most trusted Egyptologist 
and antiquarian, says on the origin of the old 
Egyptians. Regarding these as a branch of the 
Caucasian family, having close affinity with the 
Indo-Germanic races, he insists that they "migrated 
from Asia, long before historic memory, and crossed 
that bridge of nations, the Isthmus of Suez, to find 



262 INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 

a new fatherland on the Banks of the Nile. . . ." 
The Egyptians came, according to their own records, 
from a mysterious land (now shown to lie on the 
shore of the Indian Ocean), the sacred Punt ; the 
original home of their gods — who followed thence 
after their people, who had abandoned them, to the 
valley of the Nile, led by Amon, Hor, and Hathor. 
This region was the Egyptian " Land of the Gods " 
— Pa-NUTER, in old Egyptian — or Holy-land, and 
now proved beyond any doubt to have been quite 
a different place than the " Holy Land " of Sinai. 
By pictorial and hieroglyphic inscriptions found 
(and interpreted) on the walls of the temple of the 
Queen Hashtop, at Der-el-bahri, we see that this 
Puiit can be no other than India. For many ages 
the Egyptians traded with their old homes, and 
the reference here made by them to the names of 
the Princes, of Punt and its fauna and flora, especi- 
ally the nomenclature of various precious woods to 
be found only in India, leave us scarcely room for 
the smallest doubt that the old civilization of Egpyt 
is the direct outcome of that of the still older India, 
most probably of the Isle of Ceylon, which was in 
prehistoric days part and parcel of the great 
Continent, as geologists tell us. 

So then we see that thousands of years before a 
single spark of civilization had appeared in Europe, 
before the doors of a school had been opened, 
those great Aryan progenitors of ours were learned, 
polite, philosophical, and nationally as well as in- 
dividually great. The people were not, as now, 



INDIA : PA^T, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 263 

irrevocably walled in by castes ; they were free to 
rise to the highest social dignities, or sink to the 
lowest positions, according to the inherent qualities 
they might possess. 

If there were great philosophers in those days, so 
also were there great philologists, physicians, 
musical composers, sculptors, poets, statesmen, 
warriors, architects, manufacturers, merchants. In 
the Chatusashthikala Nirnaya, of Vatsayana, are 
mentioned sixty-four different professions that were 
followed in the Vedic period, a fact which shows that 
not only the actual comforts, but also the luxuries 
and amusements, of a civilized community were 
then common. We have the enforced testimony 
of many Christian authors, whom certainly no one 
will suspect of partiality for India, that neither in 
what the West calls ancient, nor in modern times, 
have there been produced such triumphs of the 
human intellect as by the Aryans. I might fill a 
separate book with extracts of this kind, but it is un- 
necessary just now. I will cite only one witness — 
Mr. Ward, a Baptist missionary of Serampur, and 
author of a well-known work on " Indian History, 
Literature, and Mythology." " The grammars," he 
says, " are very numerous, and reflect the highest 
credit on the ingenuity of their authors. Indeed, 
in philology, the Hindus have perhaps excelled 
both the ancients (meaning, no doubt, the Greeks 
and Romans) and the moderns. Their dictionaries," 
according to him, " also do the highest credit to 
the Hindu learned men, and prove how highly the 



264 INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 

Sanskrit was cultivated in former periods." The 
Hindu sages "did not permit even the miUtary 
art to remain unexamined .... it is very- 
certain that the Hindu kings led their own armies ' 
to the combat, and that they were prepared for this 
important employment by a military education ; 
nor is it less certain that many of these monarchs 
were distinguished for the highest valour and mili- 
tary skill." After recounting many important facts, 
Mr. Ward says : " From the perusal of the preced- 
ing pages it will appear evident that the Hindu 
philosophers were, unquestionably, men of deep 
erudition, and that they attracted universal 
homage and applause ; some of them had more 
than a thousand disciples or scholars." And, in 
concluding the fourth volume of his work, he 
pays your ancestors this merited tribute : " No 
reasonable person will deny to the Hindus of 
former times the praise of very extensive learning. 
The variety of subjects upon which they wrote 
proves that almost every science was cultivated 
amonc: them. The manner also in which thev 
treated these subjects proves that the Hindu 
learned men yielded the palm of learning to 
scarcely any other of the ancients. The more 
their philosophical works and law books are 
studied, the more will the inquirer be convinced 
of the depth of wisdom possessed by the authors." 

Now, I have been often asked by those who 
affirm the superiority in scientific discovery of 
modern nations, whether the Ar}'ans or their con- 



INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND EUTURE. 265 

temporaries could show anything so splendid as 
the electric telegraph and the steam-engine. My 
answer is that the properties of steam are believed 
to have been known in those ancient days ; that 
printing was used at a period of most remoteantiquity 
in China ; that the Aryans had, as certain of 
their descendants now have, a system of telegraphy 
that enables conversation to be carried on at any dis- 
tance, and requires neither poles, wires, nor pots of 
chemicals. You wish to know what that is ? I will 
tell you, and tell it to the very beards of those 
ignorant, half-educated people who make fun of 
sacred things, and are not ashamed to revile their 
forefathers upon the strength of some superficial 
smattering of English education they have managed 
to pick up. Your ancient Yogis could, and all who 
have acquired a certain proficiency in occult science 
can even now, thus talk with each other. Some of 
you may honestly doubt it, still it is true ; as any 
author who has written on Yoga, and every one 
who has practised it, from the ancient Rishis down 
to some living Yogis of your day, will tell you. 

And then the Aryans — if we may believe that 
good man, the late Bramachari Bawa — knew a 
branch of science about which the West is now 
speculating much, but has I'earnt next to nothing. 
They could navigate the air, and not only navigate 
but fight battles in it, like so many war-eagles 
combating for the dominion of the clouds. To be 
so perfect in aeronautics, as he justly says, they 
must have known all the arts and sciences related 



266 INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. ' 

to that science, including the strata and currents of 
the atmosphere, their relative temperature, humidity, 
and density, and the specific gravity of the various 
gases. At the Mayasabha, described in the Bharata, 
he tells us, were microscopes, telescopes, clocks, 
watches, mechanical singing-birds, and articulating 
and speaking animals. The "Ashta Vidya " — a 
science of which our modern professors have not 
even an inkling — enabled its proficients to com- 
pletely destroy an invading army by enveloping it 
in an atmosphere of poisonous gases, filled with 
awe-striking, shadowy shapes, and with awful 
sounds. 

The modern school of Comparative Philology 
traces the migration of Aryan civilization into 
Europe by a study of modern languages in com- 
parison with the Sanskrit. And we have an 
equally, if not still more striking means of 
showing the outflow of Aryan thought towards 
the West, in the philosophies and religions of 
Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Northern 
Europe. One has only to put side by side the 
teachings of Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, 
Homer, Zeno, Hesiod, Cicero, Scaevola, Varro and 
Virgil, with those of Veda Vydsa, Kapila, Goutama, 
Patanjali, Kanada, Jaimini, Narada, Panini, Marichi, 
and many others we might mention, to be astonished 
at the identity of their conceptions — an identity that 
upon any other theory than that of a derivation of 
the younger philosophical schools of the West from 
Uie elder ones of the East would be simply miracu- 



INDTA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 267 

lous. The human mind is certainly capable of evolv- 
ing like ideas in different ages, just as humanity 
produces for itself in each generation the teachers, 
rulers, warriors and artisans it needs. But that the 
views of the Aryan sages should be so identical with 
those of the later Greek and Roman philosophers as 
to make it seem that the latter were to the former 
like the reflection of an object in a mirror to the 
object itself, without an actual, physical transmis- 
sion of teachers or books from the East to the 
West, is opposed to common sense. And this 
again corroborates our convictions that the old 
Egyptians were emigrants from India. Nearly all 
the famous ancient philosophers had been to Egypt 
to learn her wisdom^ from Jewish Moses to Greek 
Plato. 

And now that we have seen — however imper- 
fectly, for the theme is inexhaustible — what India 
was in the olden time, and what sort of people 
she held, let us move the panorama forward and 
bestow a glance on the India of our own day. 

THE PRESENT. 

If one who loves the memory of the blessed 
Aryavarta would not have his heart filled with 
sorrow, he must not permit himself to dwell too 
long on the past. For, as the long procession of 
great men passes before his inner vision, as 
he sees them surrounded with the golden light of 
their majestic epochs, if he then turn to view the 
spectacle presented by the India of to-day, it 



268 INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE, 

it will be hard, though he were the most courageous 
of souls, to escape a sense of crushing despair. 
Where are the sages, the warriors, the giant 
intellects of yore ? Where the happiness, the inde- 
pendence of spirit, the self-respecting dignity, that 
made an Aryan feel himself fit to rule the world, 
nay, to meet the very gods on equal terms ? 
Where are the cunning artificers whose taste and 
skill, as exemplified in the meagre specimens that 
remain, were unrivalled ? Whither are departed 
the Brahmins in whose custody were all the trea- 
sures of Asiatic knowledge ? Gone — all gone. Like 
visions of the night, they have departed into 
the mist of time. A new nation is being fabricated 
out of the old material, in combination ivith innch 
alloy. The India of old is a figment of the imagina- 
tion, a faded picture of the memory; the India of 
to-day is a stern reality that confronts and supplicates 
us. The soil is here, but its fatness is diminished ; 
the people remain, but, alas ! how hungry and 
degenerate ! India, stripped of her once limitless 
forests, that gave constant crops and abundant 
fertility by regulating the rainfall, lies baking in 
the blistering heat, like a naked valetudinarian too 
helpless to move. The population has multiplied 
without any corresponding increase of food supply ; 
until starvation, once the exception, has become 
almost habitual. The difference between so-called 
good and so-called bad years, to at least forty millions 
of toilers, is now only that in the former they are a 
little less near starvation than in the latter. Crushed 



INDIA I PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE, 269 

in heart, deprived of all hope, denied the chances of 
much bettering his condition, the poor ryot, clad in 
one little strip of cloth, lives on from hand to 
mouth in humble, pious expectation of what to him 
will be the happiest of all' hours — the one that shall 
usher him into the other world. The union of the 
olden days is replaced by disunion, province is 
arrayed against province, race against race, sect 
against sect, brother against brother. Once the 
names of Arya and Aryavarta were talismans that 
moved the heart of an Indian youth to its depths, 
that sent the flush of blood into his cheek, that 
caused his eye to glitter. Now, the demon of selfish- 
ness sits athwart all noble impulse ; the struggle for 
life has made men sycophants, cowards, traitors. 
The brow of a once proud nation is laid in the 
dust, and shame causes those who revere her 
memory to avert their gaze from the sickening 
spectacle of her fallen greatness. Mighty cities, 
once homes and hives of population, centres 
of luxury, hallowed repositories of religion and 
science, have crumbled into dust ; and either the 
filthy beast and carrion bird inhabit their desolate 
ruins, or the very recollection of their sites is lost. 
Now and then the delving archaeologist exhumes 
some fragment which serves to verify the ancient 
Aryan records ; but even then he mostly tries totwist 
their evidence into a corroboration of some pet 
thcoi-y that denies a greater antiquity than a 
handful of centuries to Indian civilization. 

It is not my province to deal with the political 



270 INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 

interests involved in the full consideration of our 
subject. Were I in the least competent to 
handle it — which I certainly am not, after the 
mere glimpse I have had of the situation, and 
with the tastes and habits of a life opposed to 
dabbling at all in politics — I should nevertheless 
abstain. My interest in India is in her litera- 
ture, her philosophy, her religion, and her science ; 
it was to study these I came hither. And it is upon 
glancing at these that I am constrained to express 
my sorrow at finding things as they are. The 
Brahmins I find engaged as clerks to Government 
and to merchants, and even occupied in menial 
capacities. Here and there a learned man is to be 
found ; but the majority, receiving no encourage- 
ment to devote their lives to abstract science or to 
philosophy, have given up the custom of their fore- 
fathers, and their glory is departed. Some still 
linger about the temples, and repeat their slokas 
and sastras in a parrot-like way ; take what stint of 
dole a parsimonious and impoverished public may 
fling to them, and waylay the European visitor with 
out-stretched palm and the droning cry oi baksheesh! 
But in their temples there are no longer any sacred 
mysteries, for there are few priests who have be- 
come initiated, few who even believe that there 
are secrets of Nature that the ascetic can discover. 
The very successors of Patanjali, Sankara, and 
Kanada doubt if man has a soul, or any latent 
psychic powers that can be developed. And this 
fashionable scepticism taints the minds of all young 



INDIA'. PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE, 271 

India. The flower of Aryan youth are turning 
materialists under the influence of European educa- 
tion. Hope — the bright angel that gives joy and 
courage to the human intellect — is dying out ; they 
have no longer hope in the hereafter, nor in the 
splendid possibilities of the present. And with- 
out hope, how can there be that cheerful resigna- 
tion under evils that begets perseverance and 
pluck ? We have the authority of Sir Richard 
Temple, late Governor of Bombay, for saying 
that " modern education is shaking the Hindu 
faith to its very foundation." These are the 
very words he uttered not long ago, in a speech at 
the University of Oxford, the pamphlet report of 
which I now hold in my hand. And he mentions 
as chief among the effects of that change, the for- 
mation of the three great " religious sects " of the 
Brahmo Samaj, the Prarthana Sam.aj, and — most 
absurdly — the Theosophical Society, which never 
was, or pretended to be, a sect ! The Arya 
Samaj he does not so much as mention, though 
the President of the Bombay branch — Rao Ba- 
hadur Gopalrao Hurree Deshmiukh — is a member 
of the Bombay Governor's Council, and the forty 
or fifty branch Samajes, already founded by Daya- 
nand Swami, include, perhaps, as many registered 
or affiliated members as the other three societies 
together. Sir Richard Temple tells the English 
people that now is the time for them to send out 
more missionaries, as young India is ready to turn 
Christian as it were in a mass ! Now I believe this 



272 INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 

to be a perfectly erroneous supposition. As I see it, 
the young Hindus, outside the reformatory 
Samajes, are losing their old religious belief, with- 
out gaining, or being ready to embrace, any other. 
They are becoming exactly like the great mass 
of educated youth in Europe and America. In- 
fluenced by the same causes, they require the same 
treatment. It is Science which undermined the 
foundations of Religion ; it is Science which should 
be compelled to erect the new edifice. As an incom- 
plete study of Nature has led to materialistic Athe- 
ism,"^ so a complete one will lead the eager student 
back to faith in his inner and nobler self, and in his 
spiritual destiny. For there is a circle of science 
as of all other things, and the whole truth can 
only be learnt by going all the way round. This, 
I think, is the strongest corner of the edifice of 
Theosophy that we are trying to raise. Other 
agitators come to the young generation claiming 
authority for some book, some religious observances, 
or some man as a religious guide and teacher. We 
say, " We interfere with no man's creed or caste ; 
we preach no dogma; we offer no article of faith. We 
point to Nature as the most infallible of all divine 
revelations, and to Science as the most competent 
teacher of her mysteries." But the science we have 
in mind is a far wider, higher, nobler science than 
that of modern sciolists. Our view extends 
over the visible and invisible, the familiar and un- 

* Atheism, in the sense of disbelief of even the Universal 
Principle. 



INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 273 

familiar, the patent and occult sides of Nature. 
In short, ours is the Aryan conception of what 
science can and should be, and we point to the 
Aryas of antiquity as its masters and proficients. 
Young India is a blind creature whose eyes are not 
yet open ; and the nursing mother of its thought 
is a bedizened goddess, herself blind of one eye, 
whose name is Modern Science. There is an old 
proverb that "in a company of blind men, the one- 
eyed man is a king," and here we see it practi- 
cally exemplified. Our Western instructors know 
just enough to spoil our spirituality, but not enough 
to prove to us what man really is. They can draw 
young India away from her old religion, but 
only to plunge her into the swamp of doubt. 
They can show us the ingenious mechanism of our 
vital machinery, the composition of our digesting 
fluids, the proportion of fluids and solids in our 
frame. But Atina is an unscientific postulate, and 
Psychology a species of poetry, in their eyes. Shall 
v/e then say that modern education is an unmixed 
blessing to India ? Look at our Indian youth and 
answer. Sir Richard Temple is right in saying that 
the foundations of their faith are .shaken. Shaken, 
indeed, they are ; but he does not seem to perceive 
the proper remedy. It is not theological Chris- 
tianity, which itself is tottering before the merciless 
assaults of the liberal minds within its own house- 
hold. It is pre-eminently uncongenial to the 
Hindu mind. No imported faith will furnish 

a panacea for the spiritual disease spreading 

s 



274 INDTA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 

on all sides. What is needed is that the Vedas 
shall be once more restored to their ancient hold 
upon the Indian mind. Not that they should be 
accepted as a mere dead letter. Not that they 
should inspire a merely tacit reverence, but an in- 
telligent appreciation of their intrinsic merits. It 
must be proven, not simply asserted, that the Vedas 
are the fountain and source of all religions, that they 
contain the indications of a science that embraces 
and explains all sciences. To whom shall we look 
for this vindication of their majesty? To whom 
but to those who unite in themselves at once the 
advantages of modern critical culture and famili- 
arity with the Sanskrit literature; and, most im- 
portant of all, the knowledge of the hidden mean- 
ing of the Vedic allegory and symbolism ? For 
the inspired Vedas are often hidden under the 
visible writing, and nestle between the lines ; at 
least so I have been told by those who profess 
to know the truth. It is ignorance of this fact, 
and the taking of the Vedas in their dead-letter 
sense, that has driven thousands of the brightest 
intellects into infidelity. Comparative philology 
will not supply us with our interpretation ; it can 
only show the dead-letter meaning of the dead-letter 
text. An esteemed Fellow of our Society — 
Shankar Pandurang Pandit — is doing this literal 
translation work at Bombay, while many others 
are busily tracing the several streams of Western 
ideas back to their parent spring in the Vedas. 
But modern India needs to be instructed in the 



INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND EUTURE. 275 

vieaning of the Vedic authors ; so that this age 
may acquire for itself the perfect certitude that in 
those far distant as^es science was so well under- 
stood as to leave no necessity for us to cast aside 
as rubbish that Book of Books, at the behest of 
modern self-styled "authorities" in science. An 
Indian civilization resting upon the Vedas, and 
other old national works, is like a strong castle 
built upon rocks : an Indian civilization resting 
upon Western religious ideas — patched with im- 
ported ideas fitted only to the local traditions and 
environments of their respective birthplaces — is but 
a rickety house of cards that the first blast of 
stern experience may cause to topple over. We 
certainly cannot expect to see, under the totally 
different conditions of modern times, an exact 
reproduction of Aryan development ; but we can 
count upon the new development having a strictly 
national character. Whoever is a true friend of 
India will make himself recognized by his desire to 
nationalize her modern progress ; her enemy is he 
who advocates the denationalization of her arts, 
industries, lines of thought, and aspirations. There 
are men of both sorts among the class who have 
received the priceless blessing of education — and, I 
am sorry to say, there are hundreds, if not thousands, 
who are setting the pernicious example of aping 
Western ways that are good only for Western people, 
and of imitating Western vices that are good for no 
people, among which is the excessive use of spiritu- 
ous liquors. I see also everywhere a set of rich syco- 



276 INDTA : FAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 

phants who humbly bow the knee to every 
European they meet in the hope of rcco^^nition 
and reward. These poor fools do not realize that 
a people intensely manly, independent and self- 
respecting like the English, can only feel contempt 
for those who cast aside their own dignity and self- 
respect. Nor are they so dull as not to detect, 
under all this mask of servile politeness, the con- 
cealed scowl of hatred, and, under this fawning and 
cringing, the mean lust after titles and decorations. 
An Englishman honours a brave foe, and scorns a 
sneaking hypocrite. Before India can hope to 
make the first recuperative step up the long slope 
down which she has been for many centuries 
descending, her youth must learn the lesson that 
true manhood is based upon self-respect. And 
they must learn once more to speak the truth. 
There was a time when a Hindu's word pledged to 
another man, no matter whether Hindu or stranger, 
was sacredly kept. English gentlemen have told 
me more than once that thirty years ago one mJght 
have left a lakh of rupees, uncounted, with a native 
banker without taking a receipt, and be sure of not 
being wronged out of a single pie. Could that be 
done safely now ? Friends of mine — native gentle- 
men connected with the judicial establishment — 
have told me, some with moistening eyes, that 
lying and perjury had of late grown so common 
that magistrates could scarcely believe a word of 
the testimony offered by either side unless corro- 
borated. The moral tone of the legal profession 



INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 277 

has been perceptibly raised, but the mendacity of 
the general public has reached a low level. Do 
you think a national resuscitation can be even 
dreamt of with such a bottomless depth of moral 
rottenness to lay its foundations upon ? Many of 
the best friends of Aryavarta have confessed all 
these things to me, and in accents of despair fore- 
told the speedy ruin of everything. Some, the 
other day, went so far as to say that in all the 
North- West and Punjab — to say nothing of other 
provinces — six men of the true patriot-hero mould 
could not be found. This is not my opinion. 
Some of you may recall that in all my addresses to 
the Indian public I have taken a hopeful view of the 
situation. I do not wish to deceive myself, or to 
• deceive others ; for I hope to live and die in this land 
and amiong this people. I rest my judgment of 
Indian evolution upon the whole course of Aryan 
evolution, not upon a fragmentary particle of it. 
The new environment is evolving a new India 
which, in three chief respects, is the complete 
antithesis of the older one. Old India — and, in 
fact, even modern India, that, let us say, of the 
eighteenth century — was (i) Asiatic to the core; 
(2) it had more land than cultivators ; and (3) its 
soil was unexhausted. But the brand-new India 
of to-day, suckling of Manchester, Birmingham, 
and Sheffield, and hunting-ground of the shikarri 
and the missionary, is putting on European clothes, 
and thinking along European lines ; its land is 
overcrowded ; its soil deteriorating at a rapid rate 



278 INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 

towards actual sterility. It needs no prophet to fore- 
cast what all this involves. If " fertile France," as 
Dr. Hunter calls it,* is crowded, with i8o people 
to the square mile ; and fair, green Ireland so 
over-populated, with 169 persons to the square 
mile, that she pours her emigrants into America by- 
millions ; if the people of England when they exceed 
200 to the square mile, gain their food only by 
employing themselves in manufactures, mines, and 
city industries — what must we think of hapless 
India's lot ? Throughout British India the aver- 
age population is 243 persons to the square mile, 
and there are portions — as, for instance, in thirteen 
districts of Northern India, equal in size to 
Ireland — where the land has to support an average 
of 680 persons to the square mile, or more than one 
person to each acre ! The Famine Commissioners 
report that in Bengal twenty-four millions of human 
beings are trying to live on the produce of fifteen 
million acres, or little more than half an acre apiece. 
" The Indian soil," as Dr. Hunter says, " cannot 
support that struggle." And what then — is it 
asked ? Well, death to crores : that is the grinning 
skull behind the gold cloth and glitter of these 
pageants ; such are the terrible words traced in the 
invisible ink of Fate between the lines of these 
college diplomas. This state of things is the result 
of definite causes, and in their turn these effects 
become causes of fresh results far ahead. From 

* England's Work In India. By W. W. Hunter, CLE., LL.D., 
London, 1881. 



INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 279 

the experience of the past we may always prognos- 
ticate what is Hkely to come. And this brings us 
to the third and last branch of the subject. 

THE FUTURE. 

Who shall raise the curtain that now hangs in 
black heavy folds before the TO-BE ? Only the 
eye of the perfect seer can penetrate the secrets of 
the coming ages. The true Yogi of old could fore- 
tell events because he had acquired the power to 
pass at will into the spiritual universe, and in 
that condition Past and Future are merged into 
one conscious Present ; as to an observer who 
stands at the centre of a circle, every point in 
the circumference is equi-distant. But the true 
Yogis are now few, and if any are to be met among 
us, they are hiding themselves, more and more 
carefully every day, from the sight of men. We 
must then proceed by the deductive, since we may 
not by the intuitive, process. And as we are 
helped by comparative philology to theorize upon 
the origin and destiny of language, so, by the study 
of comparative history, we may at least get some 
idea of the probable outcome of the social forces 
we see at work in the India of to-day. Through 
this glass, then, I see the country, after having 
reached the predestined lowest level of adversity — 
predestined, I mean, by the universal cyclic law 
which controls the destinies of nations, as the law 
of gravitation controls the orbits of the planets — I 



28o INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 

see her rising again. Action and reaction — the 
sway of the pendulum of human events — follow each 
other. Nations, however splendid and powerful, 
are stamped out, under the iron heel of reactive 
destiny, if their inherent vitality be weak. But 
when it is strong, then, indeed, may we behold the 
majestic spectacle of a nation reviving from its very 
ashes, and starting afresh on the road to greatness. 
To which category shall we assign India ? I know 
not what others may think, but for my part I do 
most firmly believe in her future. If she had been 
weak of vitality she would have been obliterated 
by various causes ; nay, if she had not had an in- 
herent giant strength, her own vices would have 
destroyed her before now. She has survived 
everything, and she will live to renew her strength. 
Her best sons are afforded not only oppor- 
tunities for education, but also of training, in 
hundreds of offices, in practical statesmanship, 
under the greatest nation of administrators of 
modern times — not even America excepted. 
European education is creating a new caste which is 
to guide the nation up the hill. And as the Aryan 
of former times was the very prince of philosophers, 
so it is in the order of nature that his descendant 
should become in time one of the ablest of states- 
men. Already broader and higher spheres of use- 
fulness are opening before him, partly as the result 
of his own importunities, partly because of the 
greater economy of administration that his admis- 
sion to the higher preferments seems likely to 



INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 281 

offer. We are, perhaps, at the threshold of a new 
era of Indian clvihzation, an era of enormous 
development The bad crisis may be postponed, 
perhaps almost averted, by the aid of liberal 
science. If the present peaceful and stable order 
of things should continue — and surely such should 
be the sincere prayer of every one who wishes 
well to India, for change would mean a plunge 
back into chaos — we shall see the barriers gradually 
melt away that have kept the peoples apart. 
Gradually they are realizing that, however distant 
the Punjab may be from Travancore, or Cutch 
from Bengal, the people are yet brothers, children 
of the same mother. When this conviction shall 
once possess the whole body of these twenty- 
four crores, then will the renascence of this 
nation have indeed arrived. And then, with all 
the modern improvements in arts, sciences, and 
manufactures, superadded to abundant labour ; 
schools thronged with eager students ; the know- 
ledge of the Aryans unearthed from the dust 
of ages ; the Vedas reverenced and appreciated 
by the whole educated class, who are now co- 
quetting with Infidelity, with Atheism, with 
sciolistic Science — with everything that is cal- 
culated to despiritualize and denationalize them ; 
with Sanskrit teachers well supported and honoured 
as in former days ; with the most distant districts 
bound together by a network of railways and other 
public works ; with the mineral and agricultural 
resources of the country fully developed ; with the 



282 INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 

pressure of population adjusted to the capacities 
of the several districts ; with the last chains of 
superstition broken, and the eyes unbandaged that 
have been so long withheld from seeing the truth, 
— the day of Aryan regeneration will have fully 
dawned. Then once more shall Aryavarta give 
birth to sons so good as to provoke the admiring 
homage of the world. When shall we see this 
glorious day ? When shall India take the proud 
place she might assume in the family of nations ? 
Ah ! when ? The oracle is silent ; the book of 
destiny none have read. It may be only after a 
century or centuries ; it cannot be soon, for the 
pendulum swings slowly, and on the dial of Fate 
the hours are marked by cycles and epochs, not by 
hours or single generations. Enough for us the 
present hour ; for out of the present comes the 
future, and the things we do and those we leave 
undone weave the warp and wind the woof of our 
destinies. We are masters of causes, but slaves 
of their results. Take this truth to heart, 
and remember that whatever your faith — If 
you have any faith at all In man's survival after 
death — whether, as Hindus, you believe in Karma, 
or, as Buddhists, you believe in Prishna, you can- 
not escape the responsibility of your acts. What 
you do that is good or bad, and what you might 
do but leave undone, will equally be placed to your 
account by the Law of Compensation. The lesson 
of the hour is that every Indian mother should 
recall to the child at her knee the glories of the 



INDIA : PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 2S 



o 



past, that every son of the soil should keep green 
the memory of his ancestors, and that each should 
do what he can, in every way and always, 
to deserve and to dignify the name of an 
Aryan. 



THE CIVILIZATION THAT INDIA 

NEEDS.* 



In reflecting upon a choice of subjects upon which 
to address you, it seems to me that our time would 
be most profitably spent in examining the modern 
dogma, that " the true test of the civilization of a 
nation must be measured by its progress in science." 
I shall consider it in its relation to Asiatic, especially 
Indian, needs and standards. My discourse will 
not be exhaustive, not even approximately so. I 
am not going to attempt an oration or an exegesis. 
I shall only say a few words upon a subject so pro- 
found and exhaustless that one would scarcely be 
able to consider its lengths and breadths without 
writing a volume, or perhaps a score of volumes. For, 
to know what progress really is, and what are the 
absolute canons of civilization, one must trace back 
the intellectual achievements of mankind to the 
remotest past ; and that, too, with a clue that only 
the Asiatic people can place in our possession. If 
Europe really wishes to estimate the rush of civiliza- 
tion, she must not take her datum line from the 
mental, spiritual, and moral degradation of her own 

*A Lecture delivered at Tuticoiin, 22nd Cctober^ iSSi. 



THE CIVILIZATION THAT INDIA NEEDS. 2S5 

Middle Ages, but from the epochs of Indian and 
Mongoh'an greatness. The advancement Europe 
has experienced in popular intelligence, in religious 
enfranchisement, and in the multiplication of aids 
to physical comfort ; and the phenomenal leap 
made by my own country of America, within one 
century, to the topmost rank of national power — 
these are well calculated to make her accept the 
above-stated scientific dogma without a thought of 
protest. The quoted words are those of Sir John 
Lubbock, and I take them from the report in 
Nature (No. 618, vol. 24) of his presidential address 
to the members of the British Association for the 
Advancement of Science, on the 31st of August, 
1 88 1 — an address that will figure in history. The 
occasion was the fiftieth anniversary meeting of the 
Association, and the President properly, and most 
ably and lucidly, reviewed the progress of science 
during this wonderful half-century. How vast has 
been the increase of knowledge about physical 
nature, and what vistas it opens out, I need not 
particularize before so intelligent a Hindu audience 
as the present. You, who have had the benefit of 
a modern education, know that most branches 
of physical science have been revolutionized, and 
many positively created, within the past half- 
century. Biology, the science of living organiza- 
tions ; Surgery ; Archaeology ; Comparative 
Philology; Anthropology; Geology; Palaeontology; 
Geography; Astronomy; Optics; Physics, including 
the Kinetic theory of gases ; the properties of 



286 THE CIVILIZATION THAT INDIA NEEDS. 

matter and the conservation of energy ; Photo- 
graphy ; Electricity and Magnetism, and their 
correlations ; Mathematics, as applied to scientific 
problems; Chemistry; Mechanical Science, includ- 
ing the processes for utilizing metals ; Economic 
Science and Statistics ; — the development of these 
is the splendid triumph of the intellectual activity 
of the Western world, since the year 1830, Sir 
John Lubbock counts it all up in the following 
words : " Summing up the principal results which 
have been attained in the last half-century, we may 
mention (over and above the accumulation of facts) 
the theory of evolution, the antiquity of man, and 
the far greater antiquity of the world itself; the 
correlation of physical forces, and the conservation 
of energy ; spectrum analysis and its application to 
celestial physics; the higher algebra and the modern 
geometry; lastly, the innumerable applications of 
science to practical life — as, for instance, in photo- 
graphy, the locomotive engine, the electric telegraph, 
the spectroscope, and most recently, the electric 
light and the telephone." Truly, if we compare the 
Europe and America of to-day with what they were 
five centuries, or even one century ago, we see good 
reason for the shout of exultation v\dth which the 
progress of the Western nations is celebrated. 
And we can quite understand why the learned and 
respected President of the British Association 
should have laid down the dogma already noted in 
my opening remarks. An educated Hindu would 
be the last to dissent from his position that there 



THE CIVILIZATION THAT INDIA NEEDS, 2S7 

are no probable limits to the power of the human 
mind, to solve all the ultimate problems of natural 
law. When, by the help of the spectroscope, we 
have been enabled to discover the very composition 
of the stars of heaven, who shall dare to fix a limit 
to the capacity of man to unravel the mysteries of 
the universe around him ? 

But you must remember that we have been 
speaking of the progress of physical science ; and 
that after that has done its best, after its proficients 
have pushed their researches to the very verge of 
objective nature, though not one secret of the 
phenomenal world is left uncovered, there is another 
and a far more important domain of knowledge still 
left to explore. At that outermost verge yawns an 
abyss that separates it from the Unknown, and, as 
scientific men call it, the Unknowable. Why do 
they not enter this boundless department of 
Nature ? Why, in all this hurry-skurry of the 
biologists after knowledge, have they not solved 
the old problem of the why, the whence, the 
whither of Man ? Is it not because their methods 
are faulty, and their canons of science too narrow ? 
Firstly, they have been overshadowed throughout 
their investigations by the dark and menacing 
influence of a Christian theology ignorant of Christ; 
and secondly, they have been hampered by their 
ignorant disdain for the claims of Asiatic Occult- 
ism, whose adepts alone can tell them how they 
may learn the secret laws of Nature and of man. 
Read the summary of scientific progress made by 



2S8 THE CIVILIZATION THAT INDIA NEEDS. 

Professor Draper, in that splendid work of his, en- 
titled "The Conflict between Religion and Science," 
if you would see how Theology has fought that 
progress inch by inch. O, the black and bloody 
record ! Bow your heads in reverence, friends of 
human progress, to the martyrs of science who 
have battled for the truth. And - when you go 
through so-called Christian countries, as I have 
gone, and see how that once haughty and all- 
powerful Church Is crumbling, let your hearts 
throb with gratitude for the long array of daring 
scientists who have dissected her pretensions, 
unmasked her false doctrines, shivered the bloody 
sword of her authority, and left her what she now 
is, a dying superstition, the last vestiges of whose 
authority are passing away. Do you think I am 
speaking in prejudice or passion ? Alas ! no, my 
friends and brothers ; I am but giving voice to the 
facts of history, and every unprejudiced man among 
you may verify them If he chooses. Professor 
Huxley, who, without the least apparent sympathy 
for Asiatic thought, or knowledge of its ancient 
occult science, is yet unconsciously one of the 
greatest allies of both, in doing what he can to 
advance science in spite of theology, says : — " The 
myths of Paganism are dead as Osiris or Zeus, and 
the man who should revive them, iji opposition to 
the knozvledge of our time, would be justly laughed to 
scorn ; but the coeval imaginations current among 
the rude inhabitants of Palestine, recorded by 
writers whose very name and age are admitted by 



THE CIVILIZATION THAT INDIA NEEDS. 289 

every scholar to be unknown, have unfortunately 
not yet shared their fate ; but, even at this day, are 
regarded by nine-tenths of the civilized world as the 
authoritative standard of fact and the criterion of 
the justice of scientific conclusions, in all that 
relates to the origin of things, and among them, of 
species. In this nineteenth century, as at the dawn 
of modern physical science, the cosmogony of the 
semi-barbarous Hebrew is the inaibns of the pJiiloso- 
pher and the opprobrmm of the orthodox. Who shall 
number the patient and earnest seekers after truth, 
from the days of Galileo until now, whose lives 
have been embittered and their good name blasted 
by the mistaken zeal of Bibliolaters ? Who shall 
count the host of w^eaker men whose sense of truth 
has been destroyed in the effort to harmonize im- 
possibilities — whose life has been wasted in the 
attempt to force the generous new wine of science 
into the old bottles of Judaism, compelled by the 
outcry of the stronger party ? " Hail ! Huxley, 
man of the Iron Age ! 

And how w^ell he says again : — " It is true that if 
philosophers have suffered, their cause has been 
amply avenged. Extinguished theologians lie 
about the cradle of every science. (Christian) 
orthodoxy is the Bourbon of the world of thought. 
It learns not, neither can it forget; and, though at 
present bewildered and afraid to move, it is as 
willing as ever to insist that the first chapter of 
Genesis contains the beginning and the end of 
sound science ; and to visit, with such petty 

T 



290 THE CIVILIZATION THAT INDIA NEEDS. 

thunderbolts as its half-paralyzed hands can hurl, 
those who refuse to degrade nature to the level of 
primitive Judaism." These are the brave utter- 
ances of one of the most respected among 
European scientists ; and he expresses the opinion 
of an overwhelming majority of his colleagues. 
None know better than we, humble founders of the 
Theosophical Society, tQ what depths of meanness 
and to what extremes of malice Christian bigots 
can go, to impede the progress of free-thought. For 
the last six years we have been pursued with their 
calumnies against our good names. All the news- 
papers in India and Ceylon that could be controlled 
or influenced by these enemies of truth, have been 
trying their best to embitter o?ir lives. Where 
falsehood has failed and slander recoiled upon 
them, they have employed the stinging whips of 
ridicule : and what has been our offence ? Simply 
that we have preached universal religious tolerance, 
that we have stood up for the dignity and majesty 
of ancient Asiatic science and philosophy, and have 
implored the degenerate sons of a glorious ancestry 
to be ^vorthy of the great names they bear. It is 
these insatiate enemies that have set police spies to 
track our footsteps throughout India ; that have 
charged us with being adventurers ; that have circu- 
lated numberless lies about us; that have forged 
letters we never wrote. Clergymen, from their pul- 
pits ; editors, from their desks; catechists, at the street 
corners ; even bishops and other high dignitaries of 
the Church, have tried to weaken our influence and 



THE CIVILIZATION THAT INDIA NEEDS. 291 

to stop our mouths. But as we have stood for the 
truth, so has the truth stood by us ; and day by day 
our vindication has been growing more perfect. An 
honest life is its own best shield. It has served us 
in India and Ceylon ; and not only have the 
Government of India called off their detectives, but 
at Simla, the summer capital of India, we have just 
organized a Branch — the Simla Eclectic Theoso- 
phical Society — almost entirely composed of Anglo- 
Indians. As for Ceylon, the Colonial Secretary has 
refused all applications to the Government to 
molest us, and has opened the prison-doors for me 
to lecture to the Buddhist convicts. 

So, as you see, my first proposition — that 
scientific inquiry has been impeded by the 
bigots of Christian theology — is made out. We 
will now consider the second. The disdain 
felt for the ancient occultists is well ex- 
pressed by Professor Huxley in the passage above 
quoted. He who would dare to revive the old 
pagan myths must expect to be " laughed to scorn." 
Physical science has dissected them, found no 
" Kinetic energy " in that " gas," could not test 
them by the spectroscope, and so they must have 
been sheer nonsense ! But we say they were not > 
and, having not only studied those myths under 
teachers who could interpret them, but having also 
learnt from those who could experimentally de- 
monstrate the truth of their assertions, what the 
ancient myth-makers of India knew of science, we 
" laugh to scorn " the whole school of modern 



292 THE CIVILIZA TION THA T INDIA NEEDS. 

scientists, who know so much in one direction and 
so httle in another. Sir John Lubbock quotes ap- 
provingly in his address the opinion of Bagehot that 
the ancients " had no conception of progress ; they 
did not so much as reject the idea : they did not 
even entertain it." This is the very key to my pre- 
sent discourse. I want you to reahze what should 
be called real " progress," and why the ancients — 
your forefathers — " did not even entertain " the idea 
of what the modern scientists regard as progress. 
And to comprehend this question, we must first 
understand what man is, and what the highest point 
of progress or improvement to which he may attain. 
If you will run your eye over the list of sciences 
noted by the President of the British Association, 
you will see that nearly all of them bear upon the 
material comfort, or educational development, of 
the physical man, and his understanding of the 
physical facts of the world he lives in. Thousands 
of the most startling of modern inventions are to 
aid the Western populations against rigour of 
climate and infertility of soil, to facilitate the 
transport of passengers and merchandize and the 
transmission of intelligence, and to gratify the 
appetites and passions of our baser nature. It has 
been one mad struggle of physical man with 
natural obstacles ; the chief objects, the multiplica- 
tion of wealth, of power, of means of physical grati- 
fication. Some people call this "progress;" but 
what sort of progress is it that arms the lower 
against the higher part of man's self? The Christian 



THE CIVILIZATION THAT INDIA NEEDS. 293 

Bible puts it thus : — '' What shall it profit a man 
if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own 
soul ? " [Mark viii. 36.] The words are not like 
mine, but the idea is the same. There is a kind of 
" progress " that leads to moral debasement and 
spiritual death. I put it to you, Hindus, whether 
you have not become familiar with it since you took 
to wearing European shoes, and to drinking that 
strong stuff that comes in corked bottles, and is 
drunk with soda-water out of a big tumbler? 

What has become of Religion in this half-century 
of turmoil? How fares it with man's better nature? 
is it purer, nobler, than it was when your ancestors 
were satisfied with their myths, and not troubling 
themselves about progress ? The moderns have 
grown wise indeed, if the acme of wisdom be to 
know why birds, and bugs, and animals are striped, 
or spotted, are of this colour or shape, or of the 
other ; why the sky is blue, water will not run up 
hill, stars wheel around their centres of attraction, 
and electricity leaps from cloud to cloud. But if, as 
the ancients held, the highest wisdom be to know 
the secret causes for all objective phenomena, and 
the extent to which all our human faculties can be 
developed, then these scientists are but busy ants, 
living within a microscopic hillock of great Nature. 
Their boasted progress is, from this ancient point 
of view, but the beginning of true knowledge, at 
the wrong end, and all their troublesome activity 
but vanity and vexation of spirit. Is Civilization 
measured by the progress of Science ? What is 



294 THE CIVILIZATION THAT INDIA NEEDS. 

Civilization ? Is it the perfecting of deadly 
weapons for the better killing of man by man ? 
Is it the wholesale debasement of a people by en- 
couraging the consumption of opium and strong 
drinks ? Is it the falsification of articles of food 
and clothing to cheat the unwary ? Is it the lower- 
ing of the standard of truthfulness to the point 
where perjury is at a premium, and man has 
almost lost all confidence in his fellow-man ? Is 
it the extinction of the intuitive faculties, and 
the stifling of the religious sentiment? Are these 
the marks of Civilization ? Then, indeed, do they 
abound, and marvellously has the world progressed, 
within the last half-century. But the true moralist, 
I opine, would call these the proufs of retrogression. 
If he were candid, and could be brought to read 
what the ancient Hindus had reall}' discovered, and 
what was their lofty standard of enlightenment, he 
would have to confess that we moderns make but a 
sorry show in comparison with them. They may 
not have had railways and spectroscopes, but they 
had grand notions of what constitutes an ideal man, 
and the vestiges of their civil polity that remain 
to us show that society was well organized, that 
private rights were protected, and the domestic 
virtues cultivated. I am not speaking of the epochs 
intermediate between their time and our own, but 
about the real ancients, the progenitors alike of the 
modern Hindu and the modern European. The 
biologist of our day is using his lenses and scalpel — 
for what purpose ? To discover the secret laws of 



THE CIVTLIZA TION THA T INDIA NEEDS. 295 

life, is It not? Well, the ancient philosopher knew 
these, thousands of years ago ; so where is the pro- 
gress we are wont to boast of? The modern 
engineer builds bridges and railways, and great 
ships, to carry us from countrj^ to country. But the 
ancient mystic could, as quick as thought, project 
his inner self to any place he pleased, however dis- 
tant, and see and be seen there. Which is the 
greater proof of " progress " — to have one's body 
carried In a wooden carriage, over iron rails, at the 
rate of sixty miles an hour, or by the force of an 
iron will, aided by a profound knowledge of the 
forces of Nature, to go In one's Double around the 
earth, through the pathless Akasa, in the twinkling 
of an eye? Or take chemistry as an example. 
We will say nothing about the science having been 
entirely recreated since 1830, when the radical 
theory of Berzelius was In vogue : let that pass. 
We will take the science as it stands now; and 
what is its characteristic ? Uncertainty, assuredly. 
Great discoveries have been made, but the lacimce, 
or gaps, between the chemist and a full knowledge 
of the laws of Nature, are still confessedly as great 
as ever ; for each new discovery is but another 
eminence from which the experimentalist sees the 
horizon ever receding. Chemistry can expel life 
and disintegrate atoms; it can by synthesis rebuild 
inert matter. But it cannot recall the parted life 
that is once gone. It can separate the rose-leaf 
into atoms, but It cannot mould them again into a 
rose-leaf, nor restore its vanished perfume. And 



296 THE CIVILIZATION THAT INDIA NEEDS. 

yet, by the creative power of their trained will, 
the ancient occultists could make roses fall in 
showers, from out of the empty air, upon the heads 
of sceptics, or fill the room with waves of any per- 
fume they might ask for. Nay, those who have 
studied their science have done the like in our own 
days, and before our own eyes. Can any member 
of the British Association, with his imperfect 
methods, show us any one of the phenomena of the 
SiddJiis, described in the Shrimad Bhagavata : — 
AimuLh, Mahiind, Laghimd, Prapii, Prakdshyama, 
Ishiia, Vashiidy and the eighth which enables one 
to attain his every wish ? Can he display any 
knowledge of the Buddhist Iddhiwiddhindna 
science, by producing the wonders of either the 
Lmikika or Lokothra ? When he can do any of 
these things, and vie w^ith either the Indian Rishi 
or the Buddhist Arhdt, then let him dogmatize to 
us about " progress," and indulge in his witticisms 
against the "ancients." Until then we will return 
him laughter for laughter, scorn for scorn. 

Progress, you will perceive, is a relative term. 
What may be wonderful advancement to one 
people, may be quite the opposite to another. And 
as for civilization, I consider we are only justified 
in applying the name to that state of society in 
which intellectual enlightenment is attended by 
the highest moral development, and where the 
rights of the individual, and the welfare of the 
people as a whole, are equally and fully realized. 
I cannot call any country civilized which, like 



THE CIVILIZATION THAT INDIA NEEDS. 297 

England or America, spends five times as much 
for spirituous drink as for religious and secular 
education. I call that a barbarous, not a civilized 
power which derives a large proportion of its in- 
come from the encouragement of opium-smoking 
and of arrack and whiskey-drinking. I give the 
same name to a nation which, in spite of the teach- 
ings of Economic Science and the dictates of reli- 
gion and morality, plunges into wars of conquest, 
that it may make new markets, among weaker 
peoples, for its wares and merchandise. That a 
different theory of civilization prevails serves but 
to show the utter perversion of the moral sense 
which " modern progress " has brought about. 

But may we not even ask Sir John Lubbock and 
his colleagues how they have discovered what the 
ancients did or did not know of even physical 
science ? In another lecture {India : Past, Present, 
and Fntnre) I noted the fact that there were ex- 
hibited at the ]\lahasabha, described in the BJiarata, 
certain wonderful specimens of mechanical in- 
genuity and technical skill. The fourteenth chapter 
of the first volume of Madame Blavatsky's Isis 
Unveiled, abounds with illustrations of the profound 
knowledge possessed by ancient Egypt, Phoenicia, 
Cambodia, India and other countries, of the arts 
and sciences. If occasion required, I might show 
you, by chapter and verse, that some of the very 
latest discoveries of modern science are but re- 
discoveries of things known to the ancients, but 
long lost to mankind. The more I study, the more 



298 THE CTVTLIZA TTON TIT A T INDIA NEEDS. 

is the truth of the arxlent doctrnie of cycles made 
clear to my mind. As the stars of heaven move in 
their orbits around their central suns, so does hu- 
manity seem ever circling about the Sun of Truth ; 
now illuminated, now in eclipse ; in one epoch re- 
splendent with light and civilization, in another 
under the shadow of ignorance and in the night of 
moral and spiritual degradation. Four times have 
the islands now forming the Kingdom of Great 
Britain and Ireland dipped beneath the ocean, and, 
after intervals to be calculated only by the arith- 
methic of geological time, been raised again and 
repeopled * There was a time when the Himalayas, 
as well as the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Andes, 
were under water, and the ocean rolled where they 
now rear their towering crests. How vain is it, 
then, for people to pretend to say what the ancients 
did not know, and what is " new under the sun ! " 
You do not find the Hindus or Chinese making such 
a mistake ; their records, on the contrary, show 
that their ancestors possessed far more wisdom than 
their descendants, and the Chinese reverence for 
them is so strong as to take the form of religious 
worship. I should not need to go, as I am going, 
all over India and Ceylon, to implore you, Asiatic 
men of to-day, not to dishonour yourselves by 
sneering at your " ignorant ancestors," if you had 
ever studied the literature they left behind them. 
It is your blind ignorance that makes you guilty of 
this sacrilege. Your education has been prescribed 

* Huxley : Lay Sermons, p. 215, 



7 HE CIVILIZATION THAT INDIA NEEDS, 299 

by the men of " progress." They have taught you 
a Httle Latin, less Greek, some patches of what 
they call History, such Logic and Philosophy as 
they have scraped out of the dry bones of the 
ancient philosophers, and a terrible amount of mis- 
leading physical science. And, with your heads 
crammed with such poor stuff, you assume airs and 
" laugh to scorn " the benighted beings who founded 
the six schools of Indian Philosophy, and the Rishis 
and Yogis who were able to range unfettered 
through all Cosmos ! Ay, and to divest your- 
selves of the least tinge of suspicion that such ad- 
vanced minds as yours could sympathise with the 
" degrading superstitions " of your nation, you vie 
with each other in efforts to lay your pride of race, 
your intellectual manhood, your self-respect, in 
the dirt, for the hob-nailed shoes of " progress " to 
stamp upon. Shame on such Asiatics ! 

What the best friends of India and Ceylon most 
ardently desire is to see their young men cling to 
all that is good of the olden times, while grasping all 
that is useful of the modern epoch. That is the 
civilization which India needs. There are certain 
abstract moral doctrines, never new and never old, 
that are the property of our race. The best 
maxims that Jesus taught were' taught by others, 
ages before his time — if he had ever a time, which 
some declare a doubtful question. So we must not 
measure civilization by the evolution of moral codes, 
but by the national living up to them. Christen- 
dom has as fine a moral code as could be wished for : 



3CO THE CI VI LIZA 7 ION THA T INDIA NEEDS. 

but she shows her real principles in her Krupp and 
Armstrong guns and whiskey distilleries, in her 
opium ships, sophisticated merchandise, prurient 
amusements, licentiousness and political dishonesty. 
Christendom we may almost say, is morally rotten 
and spiritually paralysed. If interested mission- 
aries tell you otherwise, do not believe them upon 
assertion: go through Christian countries and see for 
yourselves. Or, if you will not or cannot go, then 
get the proper books and read. And when you have 
seen, or read, and the horrid truth bursts upon you ; 
when you have lifted the pretty mask of this smil- 
ing goddess of Progress, and seen the spiritual 
rottenness behind it, then, O, young men of sacred 
India, heirs of great renown, turn to the history of 
your own land. Read, and be satisfied that it is 
better to be good than learned ; to be pure-minded 
and spiritual than rich ; to be ignorant as a ryot, 
with his virtue, than intelligent as a Parisian de- 
bauchee, with his vices ; to be a heathen Hindu 
practising the moralities of the Rishis than a pro- 
gressed and civilized European trampling under 
foot all the laws that conduce to human happiness 
and to true progress. 



THE SPIRIT OF THE 
ZOROASTRIAN RELIGION.* 



With great diffidence I have accepted your in- 
vitation to address the Parsis upon the theme of 
the present discourse. The subject is so noble, its 
Hterature is so rich, its ramifications are so numerous, 
that no Hving man could possibly do it full justice 
in a single lecture. Happy, indeed, shall I be, if I 
succeed in communicating to one or two of the 
learned Parsi scholars who honour me with their 
presence, some of the deep interest which I have 
had for years in the esoteric meaning of the 
Mazdiaznian faith. My hope is to attract your at- 
tention to the only line of research which can lead 
you towards the truth. That line was traced by 
Zoroaster, and followed by the Magi, the Mobeds 
and the Dasturs of old. Those great men have 
transmitted their thoughts to posterity under the 
safe cover of an external ritual. They have 
masked them under a symbolism and ceremonies, 
that guard their mighty secrets from the prying 
curiosity of the vulgar crowd, but that hide nothing 

* A Lecture delivered at the To\\'n Hall, Bombay, I4tli February, 
1S82. 



302 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

from those who deserve to know all. Do not mis- 
understand me. I am not pretending that / know 
all, or nearly all : at best I have had but a 
glimpse of the reality. But even that little Is quite 
enough to convince me that, within the husk of 
your modern religion, there Is the shining soul of 
the old faith that came to Zaratusht In his Persian 
home, and once Illuminated the whole trans- 
Himalayan world. Children of Iran, heirs of 
the Chaldean lore; you who so loved your re- 
ligion that neither the sword of Omar, nor the de- 
lights ot home, nor the yearning of our common 
humanity to live among the memories of our 
ancestors, could make you deny It ; you 
who, for the sake of conscience, fled from 
your native land and erected an altar for 
the symbolical Sacred Fire in foreign coun- 
tries, more hospitable than yours had become ; 
you, men of intelligence, of an ancient character 
for probity, of enterprise In all good works — you 
are the only ones to lift the dark veil of this 
modern ParsIIsm, and let the " Hidden Splendour " 
again blaze forth. Mine Is but the office of the 
friendly wayfarer who points you to the mouth of 
the private road that leads through your own 
domain. I am not, if you please, a man, but only 
a voice. I need not even appeal to you to strip 
away the foreign excrescences that, during twelve 
centuries of residence among strangers, have 
fastened themselves upon primitive Zoroastrianism 
nor recite to you its simple yet ail-sufficient code 



ZOROASTRIAN RELIGWA^. 303 

of morality, and ask you to live up to It more 
closely. This work has already been undertaken by 
Intelligent and public-spirited members of your 
own community. But I am to show you that your 
religion Is In agreement with the most recent dis- 
coveries of modern science, and that the freshest 
graduate from Elphlnstone College has no cause to 
blush for the " Ignorance " of Zaratusht ! And I 
am to prove to you that your faith rests upon the 
rock of truth, the living rock of Occult Science, 
upon which the initiated progenitors of mankind 
built every one of the religions that have since 
swayed the thoughts and stimulated the aspirations 
of a hundred generations of worshippers. Let 
others trace back the history of Zoroastrlanism to 
and beyond the time of the Bactrian King VIs- 
tasp ; and reconcile the quarrels of Aristotle, 
Hermippus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Polyhlstor, 
and other ancient as well as modern critics, as 
to when Zaratusht lived, and where was his birth- 
place : these are non-essentials. It is of far less 
moment to know where and of what parentage a 
religious reformer was born, than to be sure of 
what he taught and whether his teaching Is calcu- 
lated to bless mankind. Plotlnus, the philo- 
sopher, so well knew this that he would not tell, 
even to Porphyry, his pupil and literary bio- 
grapher, what was his native country, what his real 
name, or his parentage. As regards Zaratusht one 
thing is affirmed, viz., that about six centuries 
B.C. one man of that name lived — whether or not 



304 THE SPIRIT OF I HE 

several others preceded him, as some respectable 
authorities affirm — and that the religion he 
preached, whether new or old, was of so noble a 
character, that it indelibly stamped its impress 
upon the then chief school of Western philosophy, 
that of Greece.* It is also, as I believe, certain 

* In the oldest Iranian book called the "Desatir" — a collection 
of the teachings of the fourteen oldest Iranian prophets (to make the 
number fifteen and include, among them, Sirakendesh, or 
*' Secander," is a grave error, as may be proved on the authority of 
Zaratusht himself in that book) — Zaratusht stands thirteenth in the 
list. The fact is significant. Respecting the period of Zoroaster 
the First, or his personality, there is no trustworthy information 
given by Western scholars ; their authorities conflict in the 
most perplexing manner. Indeed among the many discor- 
dant notices I find the earliest Greek classic writers, who tell us 
that Zaratusht lived from 6oo to 5,000 years before the Trojan war, 
or 6,000 years before Plato. Again it is declared by Berosus, the 
Chaldean priest, that Zoroaster was the founderof an Indian dynasty in 
Babylon 2200 B.C. ; while the later native traditions inform us that 
he was the son of Purushaspa, and a contemporary of Gustaspa, the 
father of Darius, which would bring him within 600 B.C. Lastly, 
it is asserted by Bunsen that he was born at Bactria before the 
emigration of the Bactrians to the Indus, which took place, as the 
learned Egyptologist shows us, 3784 B.C. Among this host of 
contradictions, what conclusion can one come to ? Evidently, there 
is but one hypothesis left : and that is that they are all wrong, the 
reason for it beins: the one I find in the secret traditions of the 
esoteric doctrine — namely, that there were several teachers of that 
name. Neither Plato nor Aristotle, so accurate in their statements, 
is likely to have transformed 200 years into 6,000. As to the 
generally accepted native tradition, which makes the great prophet 
a contemporary of Darius' father, it is absurd on the very 
face of it. Though the error is too palpable to need any elaborate 
confutation, I may say a few words in regard to it. The latest re 
searches show that the Persian inscriptions point to Vistasp as the 
last of the line of Kaianian princes who ruled in Bactria, while the 
Assyrian conquest of that countiy took place in 1200 B.C. Now 
this alone would prove that Zoroaster lived twelve or thirteen hun- 



ZOROASTRIAISf RELIGION. 305 

that this man was an initiate in the sacred 
Mysteries, or to put it differently — that he had, by 
a certain course of mystical study, penetrated all 
the hidden mysteries of man's nature and of the 
world about him. Zoroaster is bv the Greek 
writers often called the Assyrian " Nazaret." 
This term comes from the word Nazar or Nazir — 
set apart, separated. The Nazars were a very 
ancient sect of adepts, existing ages before Christ. 
They are described as " physicians, healers of the 
sick by the imposition of the hands," and as 
initiated into the Mysteries (see treatise Nazir in 
the Talmud). The Jews returning from the 

dred years B.C., instead of the 600 assigned to him ; and thus that 
he could not have been a contemporary of Darius Hystaspes, whose 
father was so carelessly and for such a length of time confounded in 
this connexion Vv'ith the Vistasp who flourished six centuries earlier. 
If we add to this the historical discrepancy between the statement of 
Amniianus Marcelinus — which makes Darius crush the Magi and 
introduce the worship of Ahurmazda — and the inscription on the 
tomb of that king which states that he was " teacher and hierophant 
of Magianism ; " and that other no less significant and very impor- 
tant fact that the Zoroastrian Avesta shows no signs of the knowledge 
of its writer or writers of either the Medes, the Persians, or the 
Assyrians, the ancient books of the Parsis remaining silent upon and 
showing no acquaintance with any of the nations that are 
known to have dwelt in or near the Western parts of Iran — the date, 
600 B.C. — accepted as the period in which the prophet is alleged 
to have flourished, becomes absolutely impossible. 

It is therefore safe to come to the following conclusions : — (i.) 
That there were several (in all seve^t, say the Secret Records,) AJnirti- 
asiers, or spiritual teachers, of Ahurmazda, an office corrupted later 
into Gtirii-asters and Ziirii-asters from " Zera-Ishtar," the title of 
the Chaldean or Magian priests ; and (2) that the last of them was 
Zaratusht of the Desaiir^ the thirteenth of the prophets, and the 
seventh of that name. It was he who was the contemporary of 

U 



3o6 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

Babylonian captivity were thoroughly imbued v/ith 
Zoroastrian and Magian ideas ; their forefathers 
had agreed with the Sabeans in the Bactric wor- 
ship, the adoration of the Sun, Moon, and Five 
Planets, the Sabaoth and realms of light. In 
Babylon they had learned to worship the Seven - 
Rayed God. And so we find running all through- 
out the Christian as well as the Jewish Scriptures, 
the septenary system, which culminates in the 
Book of Revelation (the final pamphlet of the Bible) 
in the Heptaktis, and a prophecy of the coming of 
the Persian Sosiosh, under the figure of the Chris- 
tian Messiah, riding, like the former, upon a white 

Vislasp, the last of the Kaianian princes, and the compiler of 
Vendldad, the Commentaries upon which are lost, there remaining 
now but the dead letter. Some of the facts given in the Secret 
Records, though to the exact scholar merely traditional, are very 
interesting. They are to the effect that there exists a certain hollow 
rock, full of tablets, in a gigantic cave bearing the name of the 
Zaratushta, under his Magian appellation, and that the tablets may 
yet be rescued some day. This cave, with its rock and tablets and 
its many inscriptions on the walls, is situated at the summit of one of 
the peaks of the Thian Shan mountains far beyond their junction 
with the Belor Tagh, somewhere along their Eastern course. One 
of the half-pictorial and half-written prophecies and teachings at- 
tributed to Zaratusht himself, relates to that deluge which has trans- 
formed an inland sea into the dreary desert called Shamo or Gobi 
Desert. The esoteric key to the mysterious creeds flippantly called, 
at one time, the Sabian or Planetary Religion, at another, the 
Solar or Fire \Yorship, " hangs in that cave," says the legend. In 
it the great Prophet is represented with a golden star on his heart 
and as belonging to that race of Ante-diluvian giants mentioned in 
the sacred books of both the Chaldeans and the Jews. It matters 
little whether this hypothesis be accepted or rejected. Since the 
rejection of it would not make the otlicr more trustworthy, it was 
as well to mention it, 



ZOROASTRIAN RELIGWN. 307 

horse. By the Jewish sect of the Pharisees, whose 
great teacher was Hillel, the whole angelology and 
symbolism of the Zoroastrians were accepted, and 
infused into Jewish thought ; and their Hebrew 
Kabala, or secret book of Occult Wisdom, was the 
offspring of the Chaldean Kabala. This deathless 
work is the receptacle of all the ancient lore of 
Chaldea, Persia, Media, Bactria, and the pre-Iran- 
ian period. The name by wdilch its students in 
the secret lodges of the Jewish Pharisees (or Phat- 
sis) were known was Kabirini — from Kabeiri, the 
Mystery Gods of Assyria. Zoroastrianism and 
Magianism proper were, then, the chief source both 
of esoteric Judaism and of esoteric Christianity. 
But not only has this subtle spirit left the latter re- 
ligion, under the pressure of worldllness and scepti- 
cal inquiry : it also long ago left Judaism. The 
modern Hebrews are not Kabalists but Talmudlsts, 
holding to the later interpretations of the Mosaic 
canon : only here and there can we now find a 
real Kabalist, who knows what is the true religion 
of his people and whence it was derived. 

The real history of Zoroaster and his religion has 
never been w^rltten. The Parsis have lost the key, 
as the Jews and Christians have lost that of their 
respective faiths, and as I find the Southern Bud- 
dhists have lost that of theirs. Not to the living 
pandits or priests of either of those religions can 
the laity look for light. They can only quote the 
opinions of ancient Greek and Roman, or modern 
German, French or English wTiters. This very day 



3o8 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

nearly all that your most enlightened scholars 
know about your religion is what they have col- 
lated from European sources, and that is almost 
exclusively about its literature and external forms. 
And see what ridiculous mistakes some of those 
authorities make at times! Prideaux, treating 
of the Sad-der, says that Zaratusht preached 
incest ; that " nothing of this nature is unlawful, a 
man may not only marry his sister or his daughter^ 
but even his mother T {Ancient Universal History, 
iv. 296). He quotes no Zend authority, nothing 
written by a Parsi, but only Jewish and Christian 
authorities, such as Philo, Tertullian, and Clemens 
Alexandrinus. Eutychius, a priest and archimand- 
rite at Constantinople, writes, in the fifth century, 
on Zoroastrianism as follows : " Nimrod beheld a 
fire rising out of the earth and he worshipped it, 
and from that time forth the Magi worshipped fire. 
And he appointed a man named Ardeshan to be 
the priest and servant of the Fire. The Devil 
shortly after that spoke out of the midst of the fire 
(as did Jehovah to Moses?) saying ' No man can 
serve the Fire or learn Truth in my Religion, un- 
less first he shall commit incest with his mother, 
sister, and daughter ! He did as Jie zvas eomnianded ; 
and fromthattimethe priests of theMagianspractised 
incest ; but Ardeshan was the first inventor of that 
doctrine." I quote this as a sample of the wretched 
stuff that has always been written against the Zor- 
oastrian religion by its enemies. The above words 
are simply the dead letter mistranslation of the 



ZOROASTRIAN RELIGION. 309 

secret doctrine, of which portions are to be found 
in certain rare old MSS. possessed by the Armen- 
ians at Etchmiadzine, the oldest monastery in 
Russian Caucasus. They are known as the Mes- 
robian MSS. Should the Bombay Parsis show any 
real general interest in the rehabilitation of their 
religion, I think I may promise them the gratu- 
itous furtherance and assistance of Madame 
Blavatsky, whose friend of thirty-seven years' stand- 
ing. Prince Dondoukoff Korsakoff, has just noti- 
fied her of his appointment by the Czar as Viceroy 
of the Caucasus. 

In one of these old MSS., then, it is said of the 
Initiate, or Magus, " He who would penetrate the 
secrets of (sacred) Fire, and unite with it [as the 
Yogi ' unites himself with the Universal Soul '] 
must first unite himself soul and body to the 
Earth, his mother^ to Humanity, his sister^ and to 
Science, his daugJiterr Quite a different thing, 
you perceive, from the abhorrent precept ascribed 
to the Founder of your Mazdiasnian faith. 

A curious and sad thing, indeed, it is to see 
how completely the old life has gone out of 
Zoroastrianism. Originally a highly spiritual 
faith — I know of none more so — and represented 
by sages and adepts of the highest rank among in- 
itiates, it has shrunk into a purely exoteric creed ; 
full of ritualist practices not understood, taught 
by a numerous body of priests as a rule ignorant 
of the first elements of spiritual philosophy ; re- 
presented in prayers of which not one word has a 



3IO THE SPIRIT OF THE 

meaning to those who recite them daily : the shriv- 
elled shell that once held a radiant soul. Yet all 
that Zoroastrianism ever was it might be made 
again. The light still shines, though in darkness, 
enclosed in the clay vessel of materialism. Whose 
shall be the holy hand to break the jar of clay and 
let the hidden glory be seen ? Where is the 
Mobed * who shall -in our day and generation rise 
to the ancient dignity of his profession, and redeem 
it from a degradation so deep as to compel 
even a Parsi author (Dosabhoy Framjee, in 
his able work on The Parsees, 8ic., p. 277) to say they 
" recite parrot-like all the chapters requiring to be 
repeated on occasions of religious ceremonies. . . . 
Ignorant and unlearned as these priests are, they 
do not and cannot command the respect of the 
laity." ..." The position of the so-called spiritual 
guides has fallen into contempt ; " and to add 
that some priests have " given up a profession 
which has ceased to be honourable and .... be- 
come contractors for constructing railroads in the 
Bombay Presidency." Some of the present Das- 
turs " are intelligent and well-informed men, pos- 
sessing a considerable knowledge of their religion ; 

* Not before he learns the true meaning of his own name, and 
strives once more to become worthy of it. How many among the 
modern priests know that their title of Mobed or '' A/oghed," comei 
from Mao^, a word used by the prophet Jeremiah to designate a 
Babylonian Initiate, which, in its turn, is an abbreviation of Mag- 
insiah — the great and wise? " Maghistom " was once the title of 
Zoroaster's highest disciples, and the synonym of wisdom. Speak- 
ing of them Cicero says : Sapioitiuni et doctoru/?i genus magoruni 
habebattir in Pcrsis. 



ZOROASTRTAN' RELIGION: 311 

but the mass of the priesthood are profoundly 
ignorant of its first principles." {^Ibid. p. 279.) 

I ask you, men of practical sense, what is the 
certain fate of a religion that has descended so low 
that its priests are regarded by the Behedin as fit 
only to be employed in menial services, such as 
bringing things to you from the bazaar, and doing 
household jobs of work ? Do you suppose that such 
a dried corpse will be left long above ground by the 
fresh and critical minds you are educating at college? 
Nay, do you not see how they are already treating it; 
how they abstain from visiting your temples ; how 
sullenly they " make kusti," and go through their 
other daily ceremonies ; how they avoid as much 
as possible every attention to the prescribed ordi- 
nances ; how they are gathering in clubs to drink 
" pegs," and play cards ; how they are defiling 
themselves by evil associations, smoking in secret,* 
and some even openly, and prating glibly the most 
sceptical sophistries they have read in European 
books, written by deluded modern theorists ? Yes, 
— the cloud gathers over the fire altar, the once 
fragrant wood of Truth is wet with the deadly 
dews of doubt, a pestilential vapour fills the Atash 
Behnim, and unless some Regenerator be raised up 
among you, the name of Zaratusht may, before 
many generations, be known only as that of the 
Founder of an extinct faith. 

In his Preface to the translation of the Vcndidad 

* No true Parsi smokes, as it is regarded as a profanation of the 
sacred symbol Fire, 



312 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

Tvol. iv. of The Sacred Books of the East, edited by 
Professor Max Miiller), the learned Dr. Darme- 
steter says : " The key to the Avesta is not the 
Pahlavi, but the Vedas. The Avesta and the 
Vedas are two echoes of one and the same voice, 
the reflex of one and the same thought : the Vedas, 
therefore, are both the best lexicon and the best 
commentary to the Avesta " (p. xxvi.). This he de- 
fines as the extreme view of the Vedic scholars, 
and while personally he does not subscribe to them 
entirely, he yet holds that we cannot perfectly com- 
prehend the Avesta without utilising the discover- 
ies of the Vedic pandits. But neither Darmeste- 
ter, nor Anquetil Duperron, nor Haug, nor Spiegel, 
nor Sir William Jones, nor Rapp (whose work has 
been so perfectly translated into English by the 
eminent Parsi scholar, K. R. Cama), nor Roth, nor any 
philological critic whose works I have come across 
has named the true key to Zaratushta 's doctrine. 
For it, we must not search among the dry bones of 
words. No, it hangs within the door of the Kabala 
— the Chaldean secret volume, where under the 
mask of symbols and misleading phrases, it is kept 
for the use of the pure searcher after arcane know- 
ledge. The entire system of ceremonial purifica- 
tions, which in itself is so perfect that a modern 
Parsi — a friend of mine — has remarked that Zoro- 
aster was the best of Health Officers, is, as it seems 
to me, typical of the moral purification required of 
him who would either, while living, attain the 
Magian's knowledge of the hidden laws of Nature 



ZOROASTRIAN RELIGION. 313 

and his power to wield them for good purposes, or, 
after a well-ordered life, attain by degrees to the 
state of spiritual beatitude, called Moksha by the 
Hindus and Nirvana by the Buddhists. The de- 
filements by touch of various objects that you arc 
warned against, are not visible defilements, like that 
of the person by contact with filth, but psychic de- 
filements, through the influence of their bad mag- 
netic aura — a subtle influence proceeding from 
certain living organisms and inert substances — 
which is antipathetic to development as an adept. 
If you will compare your books with the Yoga 
Sutras of the Hindus, and the Tripitikas of the 
Buddhists, you will see that each exact for the 
student and practitioner of Occult Science, a place, 
an atmosphere, and surroundings that are perfectly 
pure. Thus the Magus (or Yozdathraigur), the 
Yogi and the Arahat, all retire, either to the inner- 
most or topmost chambers of a temple, where no 
stranger is permitted to enter (bringing his impure 
magnetism with him), to the heart of a forest, a 
secluded cave, or a mountain height. In the tower of 
Belus at Babylon, virgin seeresses gazed into mag- 
ical mirrors and aerolites, to see their prophetic 
visions ; the Yogi retires to his subterranean gup/ia, 
or to the jungle fastnesses ; and the Chinese books 
tell us that the " Great Teachers " of the sacred 
doctrine dwell in the " Snowy Range of the Hima- 
vat" The books alleged to have been inspired by 
God, or by him or his angels delivered to man, 
have always, I believe, been delivered on moun- 



314 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

tains. Zaratusht got the Avesta on Ushidarinna, 
a mountain by the river Daraga (Vendidad xHx.) ; 
Moses received the tables of the Law on Mount 
Sinai (Exodus xxxiv.) ; the Koran was given 
to Mahommed on Mount Hara ; and the 
Hindu Rishis lived in the Himalayas. Sakya 
Muni left no inspired books ; but, although 
he received the illumination of the Buddhaship in 
the plains, under a Bo-tree, he had prepared him- 
self by years of austerities in the mountains near 
Rajagriha. The obstructive power of foul human, 
animal, vegetable, and even mineral auras or mag- 
netisms, has always been understood by occult 
students, from the remotest times. This is the true 
reason why none but initiated and consecrated 
priests have ever been allowed to step within the 
precincts of the holiest places. The custom is not 
at all the offspring of any feeling of selfish exclu- 
siveness, but based upon known psycho-physiologi- 
cal laws. Even the modern spiritualists and mes- 
merists know this ; and the latter, at least, care- 
fully avoid " mixing magnetisms," which always 
hurts a sensitive subject. All Nature is a compound 
of conflicting, and therefore of counterbalancing and 
equilibrating forces. Without this there could be no 
such thing as stability. Is it not the contest of the 
centrifugal and centripetal attractions that keeps 
cur earth, and every other orb of heaven, re- 
volving in its orbit ? The law of the Universe is a 
distinct Dualism while the creative energy is at 
work, and of a compound Unism when at rest. 



ZOR OASIRIAN RELIGION: 3 1 5 

And the personification of these opposing powers 
by Zaratusht was but the perfectly scientific and 
philosophical statement of a profound truth. The 
secret laws of this war of forces are taught in the 
Chaldean Kabala. Every neophyte who sets him- 
self to study for initiation is taught these secrets,' 
and he is made to prove them by his own experi- 
ments, step by step, as his powers and knowledge 
increase. Zoroastrianism has two sides — the open, 
or patent, and the concealed, or secret. Born out 
of the mind of a Bactrian seer, it partakes of the 
nature of the primitive Iranian national religion and 
of the clear spirituality that was poured into it, 
from the source of all truth, through the superb 
lens of Zoroaster's mind. 

The Parsis have been charged with being wor- 
shippers of the visible fire. This is wholly false. 
They face the fire, as also they do the sun and the 
sea, because in these they picture to themselves the 
Hidden Light of Lights, source of all Life, to which 
they give the name of Hormazd. How well and 
how beautifully is this expressed in the writings of 
Robert Fludd, an English mystic of the seventeenth 
century (see ]\Ir. Hargrave Jennings's Rosicj^ucians^ 
p. 69 et seq) : " Regard Fire, then, with other eyes 
than with those soul-less, incurious ones with which 
thou hast looked upon it as the most ordinary 
thing. Thou hast forgotten what it is — or rather 
thou hast never known. Chemists are silent about 
it. Philosophers talk of it as anatomists dis- 
course of the constitution (or the parts) of the 



3i6 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

human body. It is made for man and this 
world, and it is greatly like him — that is, mean 
they would add. But is this all ? Is this the 
sum of that casketed lamp of the human body ? 
— thine own body, thou unthinking world's machine 
— thou man ! Or, in the fabric of this clay lamp 
[what a beautiful simile!] burnetii there not a 
Light ? Describe that, ye Doctors of Physics ! 
Note the goings of the Fire. Think that this 
thing is bound up in matter chains. Think 
that He is outside of all things, and deep in the in- 
side of all things ; and that thou and thy world are 
only the tiling between ; and that outside and inside 
are both identical, couldst thou understand the 
supernatural truths ! Reverence Fire (for its mean- 
ing) and tremble at it. Avert the face from 
it, as the Magi turned, dreading, and (as the 
Symbol) bowed askance. Wonder no longer 
then, if, rejected so long as an idolatry, the 
ancient Persians, and their Masters, the Magi — con- 
cluding that they saw ' All ' in this supernaturally 
magnificent element — fell down and worshipped it ; 
making of it the visible representation of the very 
truest, but yet, in man's speculation, and in his phil- 
osophies — nay, in his commonest reason — impos- 
sible God." 

And, mind you, this is the language, not of a 
Parsi or one of your faith, but of an English scholar 
who followed the shining path marked out by the 
Chaldean Magi, and obtained, like them, the true 
meaning of your Mysteries. Occult Science is the 



ZOR OAS TRTAN RELIGION. 3 1 7 

vindication of Zoroastrianisni, and there is none 
other. Modern physical Science is herself blind to 
spiritual laws and spiritual phenomena. She can- 
not guide, being herself in need of a helping hand — 
the hand of the Occultist and the Hierophant 
Chaldean sage. 

Have you thought zvhy the Fire is kept ever 
burning on your altars ? Why may not the 
priest suffer it to go out and re-kindle it again 
each morning ? Ah ! there is a great secret hidden. 
And why must the flames of one thousand different 
fires be collected — from the smithy, the burning- 
kiln, the funeral pyre, the goldsmith's furnace, and 
every other imaginable source ? Because this 
spiritual element of Fire pervades all nature, is 
its life and soul, is the cause of the motion of its 
molecules which produces the phenomenon of 
physical heat. And the fires from all these thou- 
sand hearths are collected, like so many fragments 
of the universal life, into one sacrificial blaze which 
shall be as perfectly as possible the complete and 
collective type of the light of Hormazd. Observe 
the precautions taken to gather only the spirit or 
cjuintessence, as it were, of these separate flames. 
The priest takes not the crude coals from the var- 
ious hearths and furnaces and pits ; but at each 
flame he lights a bit of sulphur, a ball of cotton, or 
some other inflammable substance ; from this sec- 
ondary blaze he ignites a second quantity of fuel ; 
from this a third ; from the third a fourth, and so 
on : taking in some cases a ninth, in others a twcn- 



3i8 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

tieth flame, until the first grossness of the defile- 
ment of the fire in the base use to which it was put 
has been purged, and only the purest essence re- 
mains. Then only, is it fit to be placed upon the 
altar of Hormazd. And even then the flame is not 
ready to be the type of that Eternal Brightness ; it 
is as yet but a body of earthly flame, a body which 
lacks its noblest soul. When your forefathers 
gathered at Sanjan to light the fire for the Indian 
exiles, the great Dastur Darab, who had come with 
them from Persia, gathered his people and the 
strangers of the country about him in the jungle. 
Upon a stone block the dried sandal-wood was laid. 
Four priests stood at the four cardinal points. The 
Gathas are intoned, the priests bow their faces in 
reverential awe. The Dastur raises his eyes to hea- 
ven, he recites the mystical words of power ; lo ! 
the fire from the upper world of space descends, 
and with its silvery tongues laps round the fragrant 
wood, which bursts into a blaze. This is the mis- 
sing spirit evoked by the adept Prometheus. When 
tJiis is added to the thousand other dancing flames 
the Symbol is perfected, and the face of Hormazd 
shines before his worshippers. Lighted thus at 
Sanjan, that historic fire has been kept alive for 
more than seven hundred years, and until another 
Darab appears among you to draw the flame of the 
ambient ether upon your altar, let it be fed con- 
tinuously. 

This ancient art of drawing" fire from heaven was 
taught in the Samothracian and Kabeiric mysteries. 



ZOROASTRIAN RELIGIO.V. 319 

Numa who Introduced the Vestal mysteries Into 
Rome, thus kindled a fire Vv^hlch was under the care 
of consecrated Vestal Virgins, whose duty It was, 
under penalty of death for neglect, constantly to 
maintain It. It was, as Schwelgger shows, the 
Hermes fire, the Elmes fire of the ancient Germans, 
the lightning of Cybele ; the torch of Apollo ; the 
fire of Pan's altar ; the fire-flame of Pluto's helm ; 
the Inextinguishable fire In the temple of the Gre- 
cian Athene, on the Acropolis of Athens, and the 
mystical fires of many different worships and sym- 
bols. The Occult Science, of which I spoke, was 
shared by the Initiates of the Sacred Science all 
over the ancient world. The knowledge was first 
gained In Chaldea, and was thence spread througli 
Greece to more Western and Northern countries. 
Even to-day the P'lre-Cult survives among the rude 
Indian tribes of Arizona — a far Western portion 
of America. Major Calhoun, of the U. S. Army, 
who commanded a surveying party sent out by 
our Government, told me, that In that remote 
corner of the world, and among those rude people, 
he found them keeping alight their Sacred P'Ire In 
their teocalis^ or holy enclosures. Every morning 
their priests go out, dressed in the sacerdotal robes 
of their forefathers, to salute the rising sun. In the 
hope that Montezuma, their promised Redeemer 
and Liberator, will appear. The time of his com- 
ing is not foretold, but from generation to genera- 
tion they wait, and pray, and hope. 

In her his Unveiled, Madame Blavatsky has 



320 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

shown US that this heavenly fire, however and when- 
ever manifested, is a correlation of the Akasa, and 
that the art of the Magician and the Priest enables 
one to develop and attract it down. But to do 
this you must be absolutely pure — in body, in 
thought, in deed. And these are the three pillars 
upon which Zaratusht erected the stately edifice of 
his religion. I have always considered it as a great 
test of the merit of any religion that its essence can 
be compressed into a few words that a child can 
understand. Buddhism, with its noble comprehen- 
siveness, was distilled by its Founder into seven 
words ; Zoroastrianism is reduced to three — Hoin- 
7ite, Hukhate, Viirushte.^ 

A Parsi gentleman, with whom I was conversing 
the other day, explained the fact of your having no 
wonder-working priests at present, by saying that 
none living was pure enough. He was right, and 
until you can find such a pure celebrant, your re- 
.ligion will never be again reanimated. An impure 
man who attempts the magical ceremonies is liable 
to be made mad or destroyed. This is a scientific 
necessity. The law of nature is, you know, that 
action and reaction are equal. If, therefore, the 
operator in the M)'steries propels from himself a 
current of will-power directed against a certain ob- 
ject, and — either because of feebleness of will, or 
deviation caused by impure motives — he misses his 
mark, his current rebounds from the whole body of 
the Akasa (as the ball rebounds from the wall against 

* Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds, 



ZOROASTRIAN RELIGION: 321 

which It is thrown to the thrower's hand) and reacts 
upon himself. We are told that they who did not 
know how to manage the miraculous fire in the 
Vestal and Kabeiric mysteries " were destroyed by 
it, and were punished by the Gods " (Ennemoser. 
Hist, of Magic, ii. 32). Pliny relates {Histor. Nat. 
xxviii., 2) that Tullus Hostilius had sought from 
the books of Numa " Jovem devocare a coelo ;" but 
as he did not correctly follow the rules of Numa, 
he was struck by the lightning. This same rule 
applies equally to the attempt to use the Black 
Art unskilfully. The old English proverb says, 
" Curses, like fowls, come home to roost." He who 
would use the powers of Sorcery, or Black Magic, 
is sure to be destroyed by them first or last. The 
old fables about sorcerers being carried off by the 
mocking " devils " whom, for a time, they had em- 
ployed to gratify their unlawful desires, are all 
based upon fact. And, in Zoroastrianism, the Parsi 
is as carefully taught to eschew and fight against 
the powers of Ahriman, or the Evil Spirits of Dark- 
ness, as to cultivate intimacy with and win the pro- 
tecting favour of the Ameshaspentas and Yazatas 
— the personified good principles of Nature. You 
will not find any of your European authorities 
speaking of these personifications with decent re- 
spect, any more than of the nature-gods of the 
Aryans. To their minds these are but the childish 
fancies of a florid Persian or Aryan imagination, 
begotten in the infancy of our race. Eor a good 
reason too; not one of these spectacled pandits has 



322 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

the least practical reason to believe that there are 
such good and evil powers warring about us. But 
I am not afraid to say to them all in my individual, 
not official, capacity, that I do believe in them ; 
nay, that I actually know they exist. And this is 
why you hear me, a Western man taught in a 
Western University and nursed on the traditions of 
modern civilization, say that Zaratushta knew more 
about nature than Tyndall does, more about the 
laws of Force than Balfour Stewart, more about the 
origin of species than Darwin or Haeckel, more 
about the human mind and its potentialities than 
Maudesley or Bain. And so did Buddha, and some 
other ancient proficients in Occult Science. Pshaw ! 
Young man of Bombay University, when you 
have taken your degree, and learnt all your pro- 
fessors can teach you, go to the hermit and the re- 
cluse of the jungle and ask Jiim to prove to you 
where to begin your real study of the world into 
which you have been born ! Your professors can 
make you learned but not wise, can teach you about 
the shell of Nature, but those silent and despised 
unravellers of the tangled web of existence can 
evoke for you the soul that lurks within that sheath. 
Three centuries before Christ the united kingdom 
of Persia and Media exercised a dominion extend- 
ing over an area of three or four millions of square 
miles, and had a population of several hundred 
millions of people. And do you mean to tell me 
that the Zoroastrian religion could have dominated 
the minds of this enormous mass of people — nearly 



ZOROASTRTAN RELIGION. 323 

twice the present population of India — and could 
have also swayed the religious thought of the cul- 
tured Greeks and Romans, if it had not had a 
spiritual life in it that its poor remnant of to-day 
completely lacks ? I tell you that if you could put 
that ancient life back into it, and if you had your 
Darabs and your Abads to show this ignorant age 
the proof of the reality of the old Chaldean wisdom, 
you would spread your religion all over the world. 
For the age is spiritually dying for want of some 
religion that can show just such signs, and for lack 
of them two crores of intelligent Western people 
have become Spiritualists and are following the 
lead of mediums. And not only your religion is 
soulless : Hinduism is so, Southern Buddhism is 
so, Judaism and Christianity are so likewise. We 
see following the missionaries none of the " signs " 
that Jesus said should follow those who were really 
his disciples : they neither raise the dead, nor heal 
the sick, nor give sight to the blind, nor cast out 
devils, nor dare they drink any deadly thing in the 
faith that it will not harm them. There are a few^ 
true wonder-workers in our time, but they are 
among the Lamaists of Tibet, the Copts of Egypt, 
the Sufis and Dervishes of Arabia and other Mahom- 
medan countries. The great body of the people, 
in all countries, are become so sensual, so avaricious, 
so materialistic and faithless, that their moral at- 
mosphere is like a pestilential wind to the Yozda- 
thraigur (those adepts whom we have made known 
to India under the name of Mahatmas). 



324 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

It 

The meaning of your Haoma you doubtless 
know. In the ninth Yaqna of the Avesta, Haoma 
is spoken of both as a god — a Yazata — and the 
plant, or the juice of the plant, which is under his 
especial protection, and so is the Soma of the 
" Aitareya Brdviana'' 

" At the time of the morning-dawn came 

1. Haoma to Zarathustra. 

2. As he was purifying the fire and reciting 

the Gathas. 

3. Zarathustra asked him : Who, O man, art 

thou ? 

4. Thou, who appearest to me as the most 

beautiful in the whole corporeal world, 
endued with thine own life, majestic and 
immortal ? 

5. Then answered me Haoma, the pure, who 

is far from death. 

6. Ask me, thou pure one, make me ready for 

food." 

Thus, in the same line, Is Haoma spoken of in 
his personified form and as a plant to be prepared 
for food. 

Further on he is described as 

52. "Victorious, golden, with moist stalks." 

This Is the sacred Soma of the Aryans — by them 
also elevated into a deity. This is that wondrous 
juice which lifted the mind of him who quaffed it 
to the splendours of the higher heavens, and made 



ZOROAS TRIA N RELIGION. 325 

him commune with the gods. It was not stupify- 
ing hke opium, nor maddening like the Indian 
hemp, but exhilarating, illuminating, the begetter 
of divine visions. It was given to the candidate in 
the ]\Iysteries, and drunk with solemn ceremony 
by the Hierophant. Its ancient use is still kept in 
your memories by the Mobed's drinking, in the 
YaQna ceremony, a decoction of dried Haoma stalks, 
that have been pounded with bits of pomegranate 
root in a mortar, and afterwards had water thrice 
poured over them. 

The Baresma twigs— among you represented by 
a bunch of brass wires ! — are a reminiscence of the 
divining-rods anciently used by all practitioners of 
ceremonial magic. The rod or staff was also given 
to the fabled gods of Mythology. In the fifth book 
of the Odyssey, Jupiter, in the council of the gods, 
bids Hermes go upon a certain mission, and the 
verse says — 

" Forth sped he, 

Then taking his staff, with which he the eye- 
lids of mortals 

Closes at will, and the sleeper at will, re- 
awakens." 

The rod of Hermes w^as a magic staff; so was 
that of ^sculapaios, the healing wand that had 
power over disease. The Bible has many references 
to the magic rod, notably, in the story of the con- 
test of Moses with the Egyptian Magicians in the 
presence of Pharaoh, in that of the magical budding 



326 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

of Aaron's rod, the laying of Elisha's staff on the 
face of the dead Shunamlte boy, &c. The Hindu 
gossein of our day carries with him a bamboo rod 
having seven knots or joints, that has been given 
to him by his Guru and contains the concentrated 
magnetic will-power of the Guru. All magic-rods 
should be hollow, that the magnetic power may be 
stored in them. In the Yagna II., note that the 
Priest, holding the Baresma rods in his hand, re- 
peats constantly the words " I wish " — properly, I 
^vill — so and so. By the ceremony of consecration of 
the sacred twigs a magical power had been imparted 
to them, and with the help of this to fortify his own 
will-force, the celebrant seeks the attainment of his 
several good desires, the heavenly Fire, the good 
spirits, all good influences throughout the several 
Kingdoms of Nature, and the law or Word. In 
the middle ages of Europe, divining-rods were in 
general use, not only to discover subterranean 
waters and springs, and veins of metal, but also 
fuo-itive thieves and murderers. I could devote an 

o 

entire lecture to this subject and prove to you that 
this phenomenon is a strictly scientific one. In Mr. 
Baring Gould's Curious Myths of the Middle Ages 
will be found highly interesting accounts of these 
trials of the mystical power of the rods, which time 
forbids my quoting. At this day the rods are em- 
ployed to discover springs, and the Cornish miners 
carry sprigs of hazel or other wood in their caps. 
The author of the above work, while ascribing the 
strange results he is obliged to record principally 



ZOROAS'IKIAN RELIGION. 327 

to the imagination, is }'et constrained to add that 
" the powers of Nature are so mysterious and in- 
scrutable that we must be cautious in hmiting them, 
under abnormal conditions, to the ordinary laws of 
experience." And in this he is supported by the 
experience of many generations of witnesses, in 
many different countries. 

We have mentioned the invocation of the divine 
Word or Name in the Yaqna. All the ancient 
authorities affirm that there is a certain Word of 
Power by pronouncing which the adept subjugates 
all the forces of Nature to his will. It is men- 
tioned by many writers. One of the latest is the 
author of a book called Rabbi JesJiua, who, speaking 
of Jesus, says, " He had perhaps endeavoured to 
employ magic arts, and to bewitch the council by 
invocation of the Name through which all incanta- 
tions were rendered effective" (p. 143). Among 
the Aryans the Agnihotra priest used to prepare 
the sacrificial wood and, upon reciting the appro- 
priate Mantra, the heavenly fire of Agni would 
descend and kindle it. In the Avesta, Zaratusht 
smites the fiends with the spiritual power of the 
Word (Darmesteter, Ixxvii.). It represents him as 
a saint-militant, repelling force by force. In Far- 
gard XL, Zarathustra asks Ahura Mazda how he 
shall purge the house, the fire, the water, the earth, 
the cow, the tree, the faithful man and woman, 
the stars, the moon, the sun, the boundless 
light, and all good things ? Ahura Mazda 
answers : — 



328 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

" Thus shalt thou chant the cleansing words and 
the house shall be clean, clean shall be the 
fire, &c., &c. 

" So thou shalt say these fiend-smiting and 
most-healing words, thou shalt chant the 
Ahura Vairya five times, &c.'^ 

Then are given various words to employ foi 
different acts of cleansing. But tJie WORD, the 
one most potent — the name which, so says Proclus 
in his treatise upon the Chaldean Oracles — " rushes 
into the infinite worlds," is not written there.* Nor 
can it be written, nor is it ever pronounced above 
the breath, nor, indeed, is its nature known except 
to the highest initiates. The efficacy of all words 
used as charms and spells lies in what the Aryans 
call the Vach, a certain latent power resident in 
Akasa. Physically, we may describe it as the 
power to set up certain measured vibrations, not 
in the grosser atmospheric particles whose undula- 
tions beget light, sound, heat and electricity, but 
in the latent spiritual principle or Force — about 
the nature of which modern Science knows scarcety 
anything. No words whatever have the slightest 
efficacy unless uttered by one who is perfectly free 
from all weakening doubt or hesitancy, who is for the 
moment wholly absorbed in the thought of utter- 
ing them, and who has a cultivated power of will which 
makes him send out from himself a conquering 

* Though properly the WORD or the NAME is neither a word nor 
a name, in the sense in which we use either expression. 



ZOROASTRIAN RELIGION. 329 

impulse. Spoken prayer is, in fact, an incantation, 
and when spoken by the " heart," as well as by the 
lips, has a power to attract good and repel bad 
influences. But to patter off prayers so many 
times a day while your thoughts are roving over 
your landed estates, fumbling your money-bags, 
or straying away among any other worldly 
things, is mere waste of breath. The Scrip- 
ture says, "the prayer of the righteous availeth 
much." There is the case of George Miiller, 
of Bath, who for thirty years has supported the 
entire expenses of his Orphanage — now a very 
large institution of charity — by the voluntary gifts 
of unknown passers-by at the door, who drop into 
his charity-boxes tJie exact sum he prays for \.o meet 
the day's necessities. History does not contain a 
more curious or striking example than this. This 
man prays with such faith and fervency, his motives 
are so pure, his labours so beneficent, that he at- 
tracts to him all the good influences of Nature, 
although he knows neither the " Ahura Vairyal' 
nor the Aryan Mantras^ nor the Buddhist Pirit. 
Use what words you may, if the heart be clean, 
the thought intense, the will concentrated, 
and the powers of Nature will come at your 
bidding and be your slaves. Says the Dabistan 
(p. 2) :— 

" Having the heart in the body full of thy re- 
membrance, the novice, as well as the 
adept, in conteviplation 



330 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

" Becomes a supreme king of beatitude, and 
the throne of the kingdom of gladness. 

" Whatever road I took, it joined the street 
which leads to Thee ; 

" The desire to know thy being is also the life 
of the meditators ; 

" He who found that there Is nothing but 
Thee, has found Thee, has found \X\^ final 
knowledge ; 

'•' The Mobed is the teacher of thy truth, and 
the world a school." 

But this Mobed was not a mere errand-runner, 
or perfunctory droner of Gathas, understanding 
no word he was saying, but a real Mobed. 
So high an ideal of human perfectibility had he to 
live up to, that Cambyses is said to have commanded 
the execution of a priest who had allowed himself 
to be bribed, and had his skin stretched over the 
chair in which his son and successor sat in his 
judicial capacity {Hist, Magic, i., 2). "Mobed" Is 
derived from Mogbed — from the Persian Mog, and 
means a true priest. Ennemoser truly says that 
the renowned wisdom of the Magi in Persia, Media, 
and the neighbouring countries, " contained also 
the secret teachings of philosophy and the sciences, 
which were only comaiunicated to priests, who 
were regarded as mediators between God and man, 
and as such, and on account of their knozvledge, were 
highly respected" {Ibid). The priests OF A 



ZOROASTRIAN RELIGION. 331 

PEOPLE ARE EXACTLY WHAT THE PEOPLE RE- 
QUIRE THEM TO 13E. Remember that, friends, and 
blame yourselves only for the state of religion 
among you. You have just what you are entitled to. 
If you yourselves were purer, more spiritually- 
minded, more religious, your priesthood would be 
so too. You are merchants, not idolators, but — as 
Prof. Monier Williams pithily remarks in the 
Nineteenth Century (March, 1881) — worshippers of 
the solid rupee. The genuine Parsi, he says, 
" turns with disgust from the hideous idolatry 
practised by his Hindu fellow-subjects. He offers 
no homage to blocks of wood and stone, to mon- 
strous many-headed images, grotesque symbols of 
good luck, or four-armed deities of fortune. But 
he bows down before the silver image which 
Victoria, the Empress of India, has set up in her 
Indian dominions." 

And this, according to Zoroastrianism, is a crime 
as great. In his ecstatic vision of the symbolical 
scenes shown him by the angel Seroshizad, for the 
warning and encouragement of his people, Ardai 
Viraf, the purest of Magian priests at the court of 
Ardeshir Babagan, saw the pitiable state to which 
the soul of a covetous money-hoarder is reduced 
after death. The poor wretch — penniless, since he 
could take not a dlrein with him — his heart buried 
with his savagely-loved treasures, his once pure 
nature corrupted and deformed, moved the seer to 
profoundest pity. " I saw it," says he, " creep 
along in fear and trembling, and presently a wind 



332 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

came sweeping along, laden with the most pesti- 
lential vapours, even as it were from the boundaries 
of hell. In the midst of this wind ap- 
peared a form of the most demoniacal appear- 
ance." The terrified soul attempts to escape, 
but in vain ; the awful, vengeful shape by voice 
and power roots him to the spot. He inquires in 
trembling accents whom it may be, and is an- 
swered, " I am your genius [that is, his spiritual 
counterpart and now his mastering destiny], and 
have become thus deformed by your crimes (whilst 
you were innocent, I was handsome). You 
have laid in no provisions for this long journey ; 
you were rich, but did no good with your 
riches ; and not only did no good yourself, 
but prevented, by your evil example, those whose 
inclinations led them to do good ; and you have 
often mentally said, ' When is the day of judgment ? 
To me it will never arrive'" {Ardai Viraf NaineJi^ 
by Capt. J. A. Pope, p. 56). Say it is a vision, if 
you will ; nevertheless it mirrors an awful truth. 
The w^orship of the silver image of Victoria on the 
rupee is even more degrading than the Hindu's 
worship of Ganesha or Hari ; for he, at least, is 
animated by a pious thought, whereas the greedy 
money-getter is but defiling himself with the filth 
of selfishness. 

The Parsi community is already half-way along 
the road to apostasy. The fiery enthusiasm is gone 
that made your forefathers abandon everything they 
prized rather than repudiate their faith ; that sup- 



ZOROASTRlAiY RELIGION. 333 

ported them during a whole century in the sterile 
mountains of Khorasan or the out-lying deserts ; 
that comforted them in their exile at Sanjan, and 
gave them hope after the battle with their here- 
ditary enemy Aluf Khan. Formerly, it was Re- 
ligion first and the Rupee last ; now it is the Rupee 
first, and everything else after. See, I, a stranger, 
point wath one finger to your palatial bungalows, 
your gorgeous equipages, your ostentatious 
annual squandering of twelve lakhs of money at 
festivals ; with the other to your comparatively 
paltry subscriptions for the study and resuscitation 
of your religion. The proverb says, " Figures 
cannot lie," and in this instance they do not. If I 
wanted the best test to apply to your real religious 
zeal, I should look at the sum of your expenditure 
for vain show and sensual enjoyment, as compared 
with what you do for the maintenance of your re- 
ligion in its purity, and at the sort of conduct you 
tolerate in your priests. That is the mirror which 
impartial justice holds up before you ; behold your 
own image, and converse with conscience in your 
private moments. What but conscience is personi- 
fied in the " maid, of divine beauty or fiendish 
ugliness," according as the soul that approaches 
the Chinvad bridge was good or bad in life ? 
( YasJit. xxii.) 

She, " the well-shapen, strong, and tall-formed 
maid, with the dogs at her sides, one who 
can distinguish, and is of high 7in- 
derstandijig^' {Avesta, Fargard xix.)? 



334 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

You have asked me to tell you about the spirit 
of 3"our religion. I have only the truth to tell — 
the exact truth, without fear or favour. And I 
repeat, you have already set money in the niche of 
faith ; it only remains for you to throw the latter 
out of doors. For hypocrisy will not last for ever. 
Men weary of paying even lip-service to a religion 
they no longer respect. You may deceive your- 
selves ; you cannot deceive that maiden at the 
bridge. Let three or four more generations of 
sceptics be passed through the educational mint of 
the College ; let the teaching of your religion be 
nep^lected as it now is ; and the time will have 
come when it will be only the occasional brave 
heart that will dare call himself a Mazdiasnian. 
Let that stand as a prophecy if you choose ; as 
a prophecy based upon the experience of the 
human race. A black page will it be indeed, in 
the record of events, when the last vestige 
of the once splendid faith of Zarathushta shall be 
blotted from it, the last spark of the heavenly fire 
that shone from the Chaldean watch-towers of the 
sages be extinguished. And the more so, if 
that last extinction shall be caused, not by the 
sword of tyranny, nor by the crafty scheming of 
civil administrators, but by the soulless worldliness 
of its own hereditary custodians ; those to whom 
the licfhted torch had been handed down throuc^h 
the ages, and who dropped it into the quenching 
black waters of materialism. 

Time fails me to enter into detailed explanation 



ZOKOASTKIAN RELIGION. 335 

of the Zoroastrian symbols, as perhaps I might ; 
though I certainly am not able to do the subject 
full justice. The siidra and ktisti^ with which you 
invest your children at the age of six years and 
three months have, of course, a magical signifi- 
cance. They pass through the hands of the 
Dastur, who, as we have seen, was formerly an 
initiate, and he imparted to them magnetic pro- 
perties which converted them into talismans against 
evil influences. After that a set formula of prayers 
and incantations is regularly prescribed for the 
whole life. The wearers' thoughts are directed 
towards the talismanic objects constantly, and 
when faith is present, their will-power, or 
magnetic aura, is at such times infused into them. 
This is the secret of all talismans ; the object worn, 
whatever it may be, need have no innate pro- 
tective property ; for that can be given to any rag, 
stone, or scrap of paper, by an adept. Those of 
you who have read the Christian Bible will remem- 
ber that from the body of Paul, the Apostle, 
"were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or 
aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and 
tJie evil spirits ivent ottt of them'' (Acts xix. 12). 
In the Ormazd-Yasht of the KJiordaJi-Avesta (25), 
it is written " by day and night, standing or sitting, 
girt with the Aiwyaonhana {kiLsti) or drawing off 
the Aiwyfionhana, 

* A gauzy muslin shirt, and a peculiar holy thread, made of fine 
wool woven by the wives of Parsi priests with certain invocatory 
charms. 



336 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

" Going forwards out of the house, going forwards 
out of the confederacy, going forwards out 
of the region, coming into a region, 

" Such a man the points of the Drukhs-souled, 
proceeding from Aeshma, will not injure in 
that day or that night, not the slings, not 
the arrows, not knives, not clubs ; the mis- 
siles will not penetrate (and) he be in- 
jured" (Hang's Avesta^ p. 24, KJiordah- 
Avesta, Eng. ed. of 1864). 

Similar protective talismans are given by every 
adept to each new pupil. 

The use oi Nirang^ for libations and ablutions is 
a survival of very ancient — probably pre-Iranian — 
mythic conceptions. There is nothing in the fluid 
itself of a disinfectant or purificatory character, but 
a magical property is given to it by ceremonial 
magical formulas, as a glass of common water may 
be converted into a valuable medicine by a mes- 
merizer holding it in the left hand and mak- 
ing circular passes over it with the right. The 
subject is treated in Darmesteter s Introduction to 
the Vcndidad (Ixxxviii.) " The storm floods that 
cleanse the sky of the dark flends in it were 
described in a class of myths as the urine of a 
eisrantic animal in the heavens. As the floods 
from the bull above drive away the fiend from the 
god, so they do from man here below^, they make 
him ' free fi'om the death-demon' {frdnasit), and the 

* Pvuified urine of the- cow. 



ZOROASTRIAN RELIGION. 337 

death-fiend flees away hellwards, pursued by the 
fiend - smiting spell : ' Perish thou, O Dru^ ! 
never more to give over to Death the Hving world 
of the good spirit ! '" It may be that there is a 
more valid reason for the use of Nirang, but I 
have not yet discovered it. That an occult pro- 
perty is imparted to the fluid by the ceremonial is 
clear ; since, if it be exposed to certain influences 
not in themselves putrefactive, it will speedily be- 
come putrid ; while, on the other hand, it may be 
kept for years in a fresh condition without the 
admixture of antiseptic substances, and notwith- 
standing its occasional exposure to the air, if 
certain ceremonial rules be followed. (Of course 
I have this from Parsi friends, and not from my 
own observation : I would not express an un- 
qualified opinion before investigating the subject.) 
I recommend some Parsi chemist to analyse speci- 
mens of different ages, especially to determine the 
relative qualities of nitrogenous constituents. 

When Professor Monier Williams vents his 
Oxonian scorn upon the ceremonies of the Parsis, he 
only provokes the smile of such as have 
looked deeper than he into the meaning of ancient 
symbolism. " Here and there," says he, " lofty 
conceptions of the Deity, deep philosophical 
thoughts, and a pure morality, are discoverable in 
the Avesta, like green spots in the desert ; but they 
are more than netitralised by the silly puerilities and 
degrading super stitioiLS ideas which crop up as 
plentifully in its pages as thorns and thistles in a 



338 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

wilderness of sand." {^Nineteenth Century^ January, 
1 88 1, p. 176.) Mr. Joseph Cook, the other day in this 
hall, said something to the same effect. The good 
portions of the Vedas were so few as compared 
with the trashy residuum, that he likened them to 
the fabled jewel -in the head of a filthy toad ! It is 
really very condescending of these white pandits to 
admit that there is anything whatever except 
rottenness and puerility in the old religions ! 

In w^iat has been said I have, you must remem- 
ber, been speaking from the standpoint of a Parsi. 
I have tried to sink my personality and my per- 
sonal religious preferences for the moment, and to 
put myself in your place. That is the cardinal policy 
of the Theosophical Society. It has itself no 
sectarian basis, but its motto is the Universal 
Brotherhood of man. It was organized to bring 
to light the long-buried truths of not one, but all 
the world's archaic religions. Its members are of all 
respectable castes, all faiths and races. Many in- 
telligent Parsis are amonq- them. For their sake 
and for that of their co-religionists, this lecture has 
been given. I have tried most earnestly to induce 
one of them, or some other Parsi, to come forward 
and show you that no religion has profounder 
spiritual truths concealed under its familiar 
mask than yours. That I am the incom- 
petent though willing spokesman for the ancient 
Yozdathraigurs is your fault, not mine. If I have 
spoken truth, if I have suggested new thoughts, 
if I have given any encouragement to the 



ZOK OASTRIA N RELIGION. 339 

pious, or pleasure to the learned, my reward is 
ample. 

" ZatJui aJiu Sahyo : — The riches of Vohumano 
shall be given to him who works in this world for 
Mazda," is the promise of the Avesta (Fargard 
xxi.). Bear it in mind, ye Mazdiasnians, 
and remember the maiden and her dogs by the 
Chinvat Bridge. I say this especially to my Parsi 
brothers in our Society ; for I have the right to 
speak to them as an elder to a junior. As Parsis 
they have a paramount duty to their co-religionists, 
who are retrograding morally for want of the pure 
light. As Theosophists, their interest embraces 
all their fellow-men of whatever creed. For we 
read in one of the most valuable of all books for the 
thoughtful Parsi — the Dabistan, or School of 
Maimers : 

" The world is a book full of knowledge and of 

justice, 
The binder of which book is Destiny, and the 

binding the beginning and the end ; 
The future of it is the law, and the leaves are the 

religious persuasions. * * " 

For three years we have been preaching this idea 
of mutual toleration and Universal Brotherhood 
here in Bombay. Some have listened, but more 
have turned a deaf ear. Nay, they have done 
worse — they have spread lies and calumnies about 
us, until we were made to appear to you in false 
light. But the tide is turning at last, and public 



340 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

sympathy is slowly setting-in in our favour. It has 
been a dark night for us ; it is now sunrise. If you 
can see a good motive behind us, an honest 
purpose to do good by spreading truth, will you not 
join us as you have joined other societies, and help to 
make us strong ? We can perhaps be of service in 
aiding you to learn something more than you know 
about the spirit of Zoroastrianism. As I said 
before, there are many important secrets to be ex- 
tracted from ancient MSS. in Armenia. Perhaps 
they may be got at if you will join together and 
send some thoroughly competent Parsi scholars to 
make the search, in co-operation with the Tiflis 
Archaeological Society. See how the Christians 
have organised a Palestine Exploration Society, to 
search for anything in the shape of proof that can 
be found to corroborate their Bible. For years 
they have kept engineers and archaeologists at 
work. Is your religion less important to you ? Or 
do you mean to sit on your guineas until the last old 
MS. has been burned to kindle Armenian fires, or 
torn to wrap medicines and sweets in, as I have often 
seen Bibles utilised in India and Ceylon by heathen 
borahs ? One of our members (see TheosopJiist for 
July, 1881) wxnt over the most important ground a 
few months ago. At the monastery of Soorb 
Ovanness in Armenia there were in 1877 three 
superannuated priests; of these but one now remains. 
The " library of books and old manuscripts heaped 
up as waste paper in every corner of the pillar-cells, 
tempting no Kurd, are scattered over the rooms." 



ZOROASTRIAN RELIGION. 341 

And he adds that "for the consideration of a 
dagger and a few silver abazes, I got several pre- 
cious manuscripts from him," — the old priest. 
Now does not this suggest to you that through 
the friendly intermediation of our Society, and the 
help of Madame Blavatsky, you may be able to 
secure exceptional advantages in the matter of 
archaeological and philological research connected 
with Zoroastrianism ? We do not ask you to join 
us for our benefit, but for your own. I have 
thrown out the idea ; act upon it or not as you 
choose.* Beaten with Parsi children's shoes oueht 
that Parsi to be who next gives a gaudy nautch or 
wedding tainasha, unless he has previously sub- 
scribed as liberally as his means allow towards a 
fund for the promotion of his religion. 

At the fifth annual meeting (in September last) 
of the Archaeological Society of Tiflis, Caucasus, a 
very valuable report was made by Count Ouvarof, 
the Nestor of Russian archaeologists and Founder 
of the Society, upon recent explorations and 
discoveries in the districts formerly inhabited by 
the Mazdiasnians. This Caucasian Viceroyalty 
was once the heart of ancient Parsiism. It includes 
Armenia, Derbent, Osetya, and the land of the 
Khabardines, besides other countries that should 
be explored by your agents. Among the curious 

* The suggestion was taken up, and shortly after a Parsi Archaeo- 
logical Society was organized at Bombay. But the wealthy class 
have not as yet subscribed funds, and nothing practical has hitherto 
been accomplished. 



342 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

facts brought to light, it was discovered that the old 
Mazdiasnians had two kinds of burial structures — one 
for use in hot weather, the other for the winter season. 
They found proofs that your faith was not less than 
1 1,000 years old: which bears rather hard upon those 
authors (among them your own countryman, Dosab- 
hoy Framjee) who date its birth from the time of 
the appearance, in the sixth century B.C., of a certain 
Zarathushta at the court of Darius Hystaspes ! 
The learned Count Ouvarof says that the Ossetines, 
a warlike mountain tribe of half Christianized 
Mahommedans, formerly Mazdiasnians, to this day 
bring a dog to look at the corpse before sepulture. 
In Tibet, too, towards the Northern border, the 
corpse is exposed to the view of a dog and a djak 
— a bird of prey, perhaps of the vulture species. 
Throughout Tibet the corpses of all but Lamas of 
the higher grades are given to be eaten by a breed 
of sacred dogs bred for the purpose. The Lamas 
above referred to are either burned, or embalmed 
and entombed in a sitting posture. I have been 
unable to learn from any Parsi, even from 
the most intelligent I have consulted, the ex- 
planation of this ancient custom of exposing the 
corpse to inspection by dogs. Upon inquiry in 
another direction, however, I am told that its orig- 
inal purpose was to show the dog that here was 
food for him, and that immediately after seeing it, 
the animal would rush off to its fellows and bring 
a whole pack to share in the repast. His instinct 
(or should we rather say his mesmeric sensitive- 



ZOROASTRIAN RELIGION. 343 

ness?) told him when life had actually quitted the ca- 
daver. This seems to me a very clear and sensible 
explanation of a long- veiled practice. Moreover, 
I read in Mr. K. R. Cama's translation of Prof. 
Duncker's GeschicJite des Altertnuts, that in the 
time of Agathias, the Persians carried their dead 
outside the gates of a town and exposed them to 
be eaten by dogs and birds ; regarding it as a 
clear proof that the deceased had led an impure 
life if the corpse were not directly consumed. What 
more likely, then, than that the relatives showed 
the corpse to the one or two dogs at the house, so 
that by the time the procession should reach the 
place of exposure, the pack would be there ready 
to complete their work ? As for the theory that 
the glance of a dog frightens away the Drukhs- 
NaQU, it appears to be a mere hypothesis. In the 
Secret Doctrine it is taught that the most lethal 
current in the ether of space {Akasd) sets in from 
the North. This is the current of terrestrial mag- 
netism. Experience has also warned mesmeric 
practitioners to make their subject sit with the back 
to the North and the feet towards the South. The 
Hindus lay their dead in the same direction. 
Baron Reichenbach also discovered that his odylic 
sensitives could not sleep East and West, but would 
instinctively turn North and South, even when 
their beds had been purposely placed in the trans- 
verse way. In occult Science the North is the 
habitat of the worst " elemental spirits " (a very 
clumsy name for the occult forces of nature), and 



344 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

in Eliphas Levi's books {Dogj?ie et Ritjiel de la 
Hajite Magie, and others) are given instructions to 
guard against their irruption. If a corpse be tra- 
versed by this boreal current, the latter takes up 
certain psychically bad influences, which, if ab- 
sorbed by the living who are sensitive to them, have 
a very evil effect. The Drukhs-Na^u is this boreal 
current, and contains in itself a number of varieties 
of malignant influences. This, I am told, is the 
Secret Doctrine. 

In commencing, I reminded you that this subject of 
the spirit of Zoroastrianism is limitless. In con- 
sulting my authorities I have been perplexed to 
choose from the abundance of material, rather than 
troubled by any lack of it. There are a few more 
facts that I should like to mention before closing. 

Abul Pharaj, in the Book of Dynasties (p. 54), 
states that Zarathusht taught the Persians the 
manifestation of the Wisdom (the Lord's Anointed 
Son, or Logos, the Persian " Honover.") This is 
the living manifested word of Deific Wisdom. He 
predicted that a Virgin should conceive immacul- 
ately, and that at the birth of that future messenger 
a six-pointed star would appear, and shine at noon- 
day. In its centre would appear the figure of a 
Virgin. This six-pointed star you see engraved 
on the seal of the Theosophical Society. In the 
Kabala the Virgin is the Astral Light or Akasa, 
and the six-pointed star the emblem of the Macro- 
cosm. The Logos, or Sosiosh, to be born, means 
the secret knowledge or science which reveals the 



ZOROASTRIAN kELIGION. 345 

" Wisdom of God." Into the hand of the prophet 
messenger Zarathusht were deUvered many gifts. 
When filling the censer with fire from the sacred 
altar, as the Mobed did in ancient days, the act 
was symbolical of imparting to tJie w or s J uppers the 
knowledge of divine truth. In the ' Gital Krishna 
informs Arjuna that God is in the fire of the altar. 
*' I am the Fire; I am the Victim." The Flamens, 
or Etruscan priests, were so called because they 
were supposed to be illuminated by the tongues of 
Fire (Holy Ghost) and the Christians took the hint 
(^Acts ii.) The scarlet robe of the Roman Catholic 
cardinal symbolises the heavenly Fire. In an 
ancient Irish MS. Zarathusht is called Airgiod- 
Lamk, or he of the Golden Hand,* — the hand which 
received and scattered celestial Fire (Ousley's 
Oriental Collections, i., 303). He is also called 
Mogh Nuadhat, the Magus of the New Ordinance, 
or dispensation. Zarathusht was one of the first 
reformers who taught to the people a portion of 
that which he had learned at his initiation, viz., the 
six periods, or Gdkambdrs, in the successive evolu- 
tion of the world. The first is Alidyiizeram, that 
in which the heavenly canopy was formed ; the 
second Mid-yirshCin, in which the collected moisture 
formed the steamy clouds from which the waters 
were finally precipitated ; the third, Piti-shahim, 

* I have a copy of an excellent chromolithograph, recently pub- 
lislied at Bombay, representing Zoroaster as standing upon a double 
star, his head encircled with starry rays, his hand holding a seven- 
ipinted bamboo and fire coming from his hand. 



346 THE SPIRIT OF THE 

when the earths became consolidated out of primeval 
cosmic atoms ; the fourth, lyaseram, in which earth 
gave birth to vegetation ; the fifth, Midiyarim, when 
the latter slowly evoluted,into animal life; the sixth, 
Haniespiia-inidan, when the lower animals cul- 
minated in man. The seventh period — to come 
at the end of a certain cycle — is prefigured in 
the promised coming of the Persian Messiah, 
seated on a horse ; i.e. the sun of our solar system 
will be extinguished and the " Pralaya," will begin. 
In the Christian Apocalypse of St. John you will 
find the Persian symbolical prophecy closely copied ; 
and the Aryan Hindu awaits the coming of his 
Kalki Avatar when the celestial White Horse will 
come in the heavens, bestridden by Vishnu. The 
horses of the sun figure in all other religions. 

There exists among the Persian Parsis a volume 
older than the present Zoroastrian writings. Its 
title is Gjavidan Chrad, or Eternal Wisdom. It is 
a work on the practical philosophy of Magic, with 
natural explanations. Hyde mentions it in his 
preface to the Religio Vetenun Fersannn. The 
four Zoroastrian Ages are the four races of men — 
the Black, the Russet, the Yellow, the White. The 
four castes of Manu are alleged to have typified 
this, and the Chinese show the same idea in their 
four orders of priests clothed in black, red, yellow, 
and white robes. St. John sees these same colours 
in the symbolic horses of his Revelation. Speaking 
of Zoroaster, whom he admits to have possessed 
all sciences and philosophy then known to the 



ZOROASTKIAN RELIGION, 347 

world, Mr, Oliver gives an account of the cave 
temple of which so m^uch is said in Zoroastrian 
literature. "Zoroaster," he writes, "retired to a 
ch'adar cave or grotto in the mountains of Bokhara 
which he ornamented with a profusion of symbolical 
and astronomical decorations, consecrating it to 
Methr-Az. Here the sun was represented by 
a splendid gem, in a conspicuous part of the 
roof; and the four ages of the world were 
represented by so many globes of gold, silver, 
brass and iron." {History of Initiation^ p. 9.) 

And now I ask you, as a final word, if the crisis 
has not arrived when every man of you is called 
upon, by all he holds sacred, to be up and doing. 
Shall the voice of the Chaldean Fathers, which 
whispers to you across the ages, be heard in vain ? 
Shall the example of Zarathusht and Mathan be 
forgotten ? Must the memory of your hero fore- 
fathers be dishonoured ? Shall there never more 
arise among you a Darab Dastur, to draw down the 
celestial flame from the azure vault upon your 
temple altar? Is the favour of Ahura-Mazda no 
longer a boon precious enough to strive for and 
deserve? The Hindu pilgrims to the temple-shrine 
of Jotir Math at Badrinath, affirm that some, more 
favoured than the rest, have sometimes seen far 
up amid the snow and ice of Mount Dhavalagiri — 
a Himalayan peak — the venerable figures of Ma- 
hatmas — perhaps of Rishis — who keep their watch 
and ward over the slumbering Aryan faith, and await 
the hour of its resuscitation. So too — our travelling 



348 SPIRIT OF THE ZOROASTRIAN REIIGION. 

brother in Armenia writes — there is a cave up near 
the crest of Allah-Dag, where at each setting of 
the sun, appears at the cave's mouth a stately figure, 
holding a book of records in his hand. The people 
say that this is Mathan, last of the great Magian 
priests, whose body died some sixteen centuries 
ago. His anxious shade watches from thence the 
fate of Zoroaster's faith. And shall he stand in 
vain ? Is he to see that faith die out for want of 
spiritual refreshment ? Ye sons of Sohrab and of 
Rustam, rouse yourselves ! Awake before it be too 
late ! The Hour is here : where are the MEN ? 



THE LIFE OF BUDDHA AND ITS 

LESSONS/'^ 



The thoughtful student, in scanning the rehgious 
history of the human race, has one fact continually 
forced upon his notice, viz., that there is an invari- 
able tendency to deify whomsoever shows himself 
superior to the weakness of our common humanity. 
Look where we will, we find the saint-like man 
exalted into a divine personage and worshipped 
as a god. Though perhaps misunderstood, re- 
viled and even persecuted while living, the apothe- 
osis is almost sure to come after death ; and the 
victim of yesterday's mob, raised to the state of an 
intercessor in heaven, is besought with prayers and 
tears, and placatory penances, to mediate with God 
for the pardon of human sin. This is a mean and 
vile trait of human nature, — the proof of ignorance, 
selfishness, brutal cowardice and superstitious 
materialism. It shows the base instinct to put 
down and destroy whatever or whoever makes men 
feel their own imperfections ; with the alternative 
of ignoring and denying these very imperfections 

* A Lecture delivered at the Kandy Town Hall, Ceylon, nth 
June, 1880. 



350 THE LIFE OF BUDDHA AND ITS LESSONS. 

by turning into gods men who have merely spirit- 
ualized their natures, so that it may be supposed 
they were heavenly incarnations and not mortal 
like other men. 

This process of eitheinerization^ as it is called, or 
the making of men into gods and gods into men, 
sometimes, though more rarely, begins during the 
life of a hero, but usually after death. The true 
history of his life is gradually amplified and de- 
corated with fanciful incidents, to fit it to the new 
character posthumously accorded to him. Omens 
and portents are now made to attend his 
earthly avatar ; his precocity is described as super- 
human ; as a babe or lisping child he silences the 
wisest logicians by his divine knowledge ; miracles 
he produces, as other boys do soap-bubbles ; the 
terrible energies of nature are his playthings ; the 
gods, angels and demons are his habitual attend- 
ants ; the sun, moon, and all the starry host wheel 
around his cradle in joyful measures, the earth 
thrills with joy at having borne such a prodigy ; 
and at his last hour of mortal life the whole uni- 
verse shakes with conflicting emotions. 

Why need I use the few minutes at my dis- 
posal to marshal before you the various personages 
of whom these fables have been written ? Let it 
suffice to recall the interesting fact to your notice, 
and invite you to compare the respective biogra- 
phies of the Brahminical Krishna, the Persian 
Zoroaster, the Egyptian Hermes, the Indian Gaut- 
ama, and the canonical, especially the apocryphal, 



THE LIFE OF BUDDHA AND FFS LESSONS. 351 

Jesus. Taking Krishna or Zoroaster, as you please 
as the most ancient, and coming down the chrono- 
logical line of descent, you will find them all made 
after the same pattern. The real personage is all 
covered up and concealed under the embroidered 
veils of the romancer and the enthusiastic historio- 
grapher. What is surprising to me is that this 
tendency to exaggeration and hyperbole is not 
more commonly allowed for by those who in our 
day attempt to discuss and to compare religions. 
We are constantly and painfully reminded that the 
prejudice of inimical critics, on the one hand, and 
the furious bigotry of devotees, on the other, blind 
men to fact and probability, and lead to gross in- 
justice. Let me take as ^n example the mythical 
biographies of Jesus. At the time when the Coun- 
cil of Nice was convened for settling the quarrels of 
certain bishops and for the purpose of examining 
into the canonicity of the 300 more or less apocry- 
phal gospels, that were being read in the Christian 
churches as inspired writings, the history of the life 
of Christ had reached the height of absurd myth. 
We may see some specimens in the extant books 
of the apocryphal New Testament ; but most of 
them are now lost. What have been retained in 
the present canon may doubtless be regarded as the 
least objectionable. And yet, we must not hastily 
adopt even this conclusion ; for, * you know that 
Sabina, Bishop of Heraclea, himself speaking of 
the Council of Nice, affirms that " except Constan- 
tine and Sabinus, Bishop of Pamphilus, these 



352 THE LIFE OF BUDDHA AND ITS LESSoNS. 

bishops were a set of illiterate, simple creatures 
that understood nothing ; " which is as though he 
had said they were a pack of fools. And Pappus, 
in his Syiiodicon to that Council of Nice, lets us into 
the secret that the canon was not decided by a 
careful comparison of the several gospels before 
them, but by a lottery. Having, he tells us, " pro- 
^miscuously put all the books that were referred to 
the Council for determination under a communion- 
table in a church, they (the bishops) besought the 
Lord that the inspired writings might get up on 
the table, while the spurious writings remained un- 
derneath, and it happened accordingly^ But letting 
all this pass as possibly spurious history, and 
looking only to what is contained in the 
present canon, we see the same tendency to 
compel all nature to attest the divinity of the 
writer's hero. At the nativity a star leaves its orbit 
and leads the Persian astrologers to the divine 
babe, and angels come and converse with shepherds, 
and a whole train of like celestial phenomena 
occur at various stages of his earthly career; which 
closes am.id earthquakes, a pall of darkness over the 
whole scene, a supernatural war of the elements, 
the opening of graves and walking about of their 
tenants, and other appalling wonders. Now, if 
the candid Buddhist concedes that the real history 
of Gautama is embellished by like absurd exagger- 
ations, and if we can find their duplicates in the 
biographies of Zoroaster, Sankaracharya and other 
real personages of antiquity, have we not the right 



THE LTFE OF BUDDHA AND ITS LESSONS. 353 

to conclude that the true history of the Founder of 
Christianity, if at this late day it were possible to 
write it, would be very different from the narratives 
that pass current ? We must not forget that Jeru- 
salem was at that time a Roman, just as Ceylon is 
now a British dependency, and that the silence of 
contemporary Roman historians about any such 
violent disturbances of the equilibrium of nature is 
deeply significant 

I have cited this example for the sole and simple 
purpose of bringing home to the non-Buddhistic 
portion of my audience the conviction that, 
in considering the life of Sakya Muni and the 
lessons it teaches, they must not make his followers 
of to-day responsible for any extravagant exuber- 
ance of past biographers. The doctrine of Buddha 
and its effects are to be judged quite apart from 
the man, just as the doctrine ascribed to Jesus and 
its effects are to be considered quite irrespectively 
of his personal history. And — as I trust to have 
shown — the actual doings and sayings of every 
founder of a faith or school of philosophy, must 
be sought for under a heap of tinsel and rubbish 
contributed by successive generations of followers. 

Approaching the question of the hour in this 
spirit of precaution, what do we find are the pro- 
babilities respecting the life of Sakya Muni? Who 
was he ? When and how did he live ? 
What did he teach ? A most careful comparison 
of authorities and analysis of evidence establishes, 

I think, the following data : 

z 



354 THE LIFE OF BUDDHA AND ITS LESSONS. 

1. He was the son of a king. 

2. He lived between six and seven centuries 
before Christ. 

3. He resigned his royal state and went to 
live in the jungle, and among the lowest and 
most unhappy classes, so as to learn the 
secret of human pain and misery by per- 
sonal experience ; tested every known aus- 
terity of the Hindu ascetics and excelled 
them all in his power of endurance ; sounded 
every depth of woe in search of the means 
to alleviate it ; and at last came out vic- 
torious, and showed the world the way to 
salvation. 

4. What he taught may be summed up in a 
few words, as the perfume of many roses 
may be distilled into a few drops of attar. 
Everything in the world of matter is unreal : 
the only reality is the world of spirit. Eman- 
cipate yourself from the tyranny of the 
former ; strive to attain the latter. The 
Rev. Samuel Beal, in his Cantena of Buddhist 
Scriptures front the Chinese, puts it differ- 
ently. '' The idea underlying the Buddhist 
religious system is," he says, " simply this : 
* All is vanity,' Earth is a show, and Heaven 
is a vain reward." Primitive Buddhism 
was engrossed, absorbed, by one thought — the 
vanity of finite existence, the priceless value 
of the one condition of Eternal Rest. 

If I have the temerity to prefer my own defini- 



THE LIFE OF BUDDHA AND ITS LESSON"^, 355 

tion of the spirit of Buddha's doctrine, it is because 
it appears to me all the misconceptions of it have 
arisen from failure to understand his idea of what is 
real and what unreal, what worth longing and 
striving for, and what not. From this misconcep- 
tion have arisen all the unfounded charges that 
Buddhism is an " atheistical " — that is to say, a 
grossly materialistic, nihilistic, negative, vice- 
breeding religion. Buddhism denies the existence 
of a personal God — true ; denies the immortality 
of the soul,* — true ; holds out no promise of a 
future, unbroken existence in heaven — true ; there- 
fore — well, therefore, and notwithstanding all this, 
its teaching is neither what may be properly 
called atheistical, nihilistic, negative, nor provo- 
cative to vice. I will try to make my meaning 
plain, and the advancement of modern scientific 
research helps me in this direction. Science 
divides the universe for us into two elements — 
matter and force ; accounting for every pheno- 
menon by their combinations, and making both 
eternal and obedient to eternal immutable law. 
The speculations of men of science have carried 
them to the outermost verge of the physical 
universe. Behind them lie not only a thousand 
brilliant triumphs by which a part of Nature's 
secrets have been wrung from her, but also more 
thousands of failures to fathom her deep mysteries, 
They have proved thought material, since it is the 
evolution of the gray tissue of the brain, and a 
* The Astral Man— not the seventh principle in man. 



356 THE LIFE OF BUDDHA AND ITS LESSONS. 

recent German experimentalist, Professor Dr. Jager, 
claims to have proved that man's soul Is " a volatile 
odoriferous principle, capable of solution In glycer- 
ine." Psychogen is the name he gives to it, and his 
experiments show that it is present not merely in 
the body as a whole, but in every Individual cell, in 
the ovum, and even in the ultimate elements of 
protoplasm. I need hardly say to so intelligent an 
audience as this that these highly interesting ex- 
periments of Dr. Jiiger are corroborated by many 
facts, both physiological and psychological, that 
have been always noticed among all nations— facts 
which are woven into popular proverbs, legends, 
folk-lore, fables, mythologies and theologies, the 
world over. Now if thought is matter and soul is 
matter, then Buddha, in recognizing the imperma- 
nence of sensual enjoyment or experience of any 
kind, and the instability of every material form, the 
human soul* included, uttered a profound and 
scientific truth. And, since the very Idea of grati- 
fication or suftering is inseparable from that of 
material being — absolute SPIRIT alone being re- 
garded by common consent as perfect, changeless, 
and Eternal— therefore, in teaching the doctrine 
that conquest of the material self, with all its lusts, 
desires, loves, hopes, ambitions and hates, frees one 
from pain, and leads to Nirvana, the state of Perfect 
Rest, he preached the rest of an untlnged, untainted 
existence in the Spirit. Though the soul be com- 
posed of the finest conceivable substance, yet if 
* The Astral Man ; not the seventh principle in man. 



THE LIFE OF BUDDHA AND ITS LESSONS. 357 

substance at all — as Dr. Jiiger seems able to prove, 
and as ages of human intercourse, with the weird 
phantoms of the shadow-world imply — it must in 
time perish. What remains is that changeless part 
of man which most philosophers call Spirit, and 
Nirvana is its necessary condition of existence. 
The only dispute between Buddhist authorities is 
whether this Nirvanic existence is attended with 
individual consciousness, or whether the individual 
is merged into the whole, as the extinguished 
flame is lost in the ocean of air. But there are 
those who say that the flame has not been anni- 
hilated by extinction. It has only passed 
out of the visible world of matter into the invisible 
world of spirit, where it still exists, and will ever 
exist, as a bright reality. Such thinkers can under- 
stand Buddha's doctrine, and, while agreeing with 
him that the soul is not immortal, would spurn the 
charge of materialistic nihilism if brought against 
either that sublime teacher or against themselves. 

The history of Sakya Muni's life is the strongest 
bulwark of his religion. As long as the human 
heart is capable of being touched by tales of heroic 
self-sacrifice, accompanied by purity and celestial 
benevolence of motive, it will cherish his memory. 
Why go into the particulars of that noble 
life ? You all remember that he was the son of the 
king of Kapilavastu — a mighty sovereign whose 
opulence enabled him to give the heir of his house 
every luxury a voluptuous imagination could 
desire — and that the future Buddha was not allowed 



358 THE LIFE OF BUDDHA AND ITS LESSONS. 

even to know, much less to observe, the miseries of 
ordinary existence. How beautifully Mr. Edwin 
Arnold has depicted, in his *' Light of Asia," the 
luxury and languor of that Indian court, 

" Where love was gaoler and delights its bars." 
We are told that 

" The king commanded that within those walls 

No mention should be made of death or age, 
Sorrow or pain or sickness. 

And every dawn the dying rose was pluck'd, 
The dead leaves hid, all evil sights removed : 

For said the king, ' If he shall pass his youth 
Far from such things as move to wistfulness 

And brooding on the empty eggs of thought, 
The shadow of this fate, too vast for man, 

May fade, bee-like, and I shall see him grow 
To that great stature of fair sovereignty. 

When he shall rule all lands — if he will tulc— 
The king of kings and glory of his time." 

You know how vain were all the precautions 
taken by the father to prevent the fulfilment of the 
prophecy that his beloved son would be the coming 
Buddha. Though all suggestions of death were 
banished from the royal palace, though the city 
was bedecked with flowers and gay flags, and every 
painful object removed from sight when the young 
Prince Siddartha visited the city, yet the decrees of 
destiny were not to be baffled : the " voices of the 
spirits," the " wandering winds," and the Devas 
whispered the truth of human sorrows into his 
listening ear, and, when the appointed hour arrived, 
the Suddha Devas threw the spell of slumber over 
the household, steeped the sentinels in pro- 



THE LIFE OF BUDDIIA AND ITS LESSONS. 359 

found lethargy (as the angel did the gaolers 
in Peter's prison), rolled back the triple gates 
of bronze, strewed the red mohra flowers 
thickly beneath his horse's feet to muffle every 
sound, and he was free. Free? Yes, to resign every 
earthly comfort, every sensuous enjoyment, the 
sweets of royal power, the homage of a court, the 
delights of domestic life ; gems, the glitter of gold : 
rich stuffs, rich foods, soft beds ; the songs of 
trained musicians, and of birds kept prisoners in 
gay cages ; the murmur of perfumed waters plash- 
ing in marble basins ; the delicious shade of trees 
in gardens where art had contrived to make nature 
even lovelier than herself He leaps from his 
saddle when at a safe distance from the palace, 
flings the jewelled rein to his faithful groom, 
Channa, cuts off his flowing locks, gives his rich 
costume to a hunter in exchange for his own, 
plunges into the jungle, and is free ! 

" To tread its paths with patient, stainless feet, 

Making its dusty bed, its loneliest wastes, 
My dwelling, and its meanest things my mates : 

Clad in no prouder garb than outcasts wear, 
Fed with no meals save what the charitable 

Give of their will, shelter'd by no more pomp 
Than the dim cave lends or the jungle-bush. 

This will I do because the woful cry 
Of life and all flesh living cometh up 

Into my ears, and all my soul is full 
Of pity for the sickness of this world ; 

Which I will heal, if healing may be found 
By uttermost renouncing and strong strife." 

Thus masterfully does Mr. Arnold depict the setin 



36o THE LIFE OF BUDDHA A AD ITS LESSONS. 

ment which provoked this great renunciator. The 
testimony of thousands of millions who, during 
the last twenty-five centuries, have professed the 
Buddhist religion, proves that the secret of human 
misery was at last solved by this divine self- 
sacrifice, and the true path to Nirvana opened. 

The joy that he brought to the hearts of others 
Buddha first tasted himself. He found that the 
pleasures of the eye, the ear, the taste, touch and 
smell, are fleeting and deceptive ; that he who gives 
value to them brings only disappointment and 
bitter sorrow upon himself The social difference 
between men, he found, was equally arbitrary and 
illusory : caste bred hatred and selfishness ; riches 
strife, envy and malice. So, in founding his faith, 
he laid the bottom of its foundation-stones upon all 
this worldly dirt, and its dome in the clear serenity 
of the world of spirit. He who can mount to a 
clear conception of Nirvana will find his thought 
far away above the common joys and sorrows of 
petty men. As to one who ascends to the top of 
the Chimborazo, or the Himalayan crags, and 
sees men on the earth's surface crawling to 
and fro like ants, so small do bigots and 
sectarians appear to him. The mountain climber 
has under his feet the very clouds from whose sun- 
painted shapes the poet has figured to himself the 
golden streets and glittering domes of the materi- 
alist heaven of a personal God. Below him are 
all the various objects out of which the world's 
pantheons have been manufactured; around, above, 



THE LJFE OF BUDDHA AND ITS LESSONS. 361 

— immensity. And so also, far down the ascend- 
ing plane of thought that leads from earth 
towards the Infinite, the philosophic Buddhist 
descries, at different plateaux, the heavens and 
hells, the gods and demons, of the materialist 
creed-builders. 

What are the lessons to be derived from the Hfe 
and teachings of this heroic prince of Kapilavastu ? 
Lessons of gratitude and benevolence ; lessons of 
tolerance for the clashing opinions of men who live, 
move, and have their being, think and aspire, only 
in a material world. Lessons of a common 
tie of brotherhood among all men ; lessons of 
manly self-reliance, of an equanimous breasting of 
whatsoever of good or ill may happen. Lessons of 
the meanness of the rewards, the pettiness of the 
misfortunes, of a shifting world of illusions. Lessons 
of the necessity for avoiding every species of evil 
thought, word, and deed, of doing, speaking, 
and thinking everything that is good ; and of 
bringing the mind into subjection, so that these 
may be accomplished without selfish motive or 
vanity. Lessons of self-purification and com- 
munion, by which the illusoriness of externals and 
the value of internals are understood. 

Well might St. Hilaire burst into the panegyric 
that Buddha " is the perfect model of all the virtues 
he preaches : his life has not a stain upon 
it." Well might the sober critic, Max Miiller, pro- 
nounce his moral code " one of the most perfect 
which the world has ever known." No wonder 



362 THE LIFE OF BUDDHA AND ITS LESSONS. 

that, in contemplating that gentle life, Mr. Edwin 
Arnold should have found his personality "the 
highest, gentlest, holiest, and most beneficent 
in the history of thought," and been moved to write 
his splendid verses. It is twenty-five hundred 
years since humanity put forth such a "flower;" who 
knows when such an one appeared before ? 

Gautama Buddha Sakya Muni has ennobled the 
whole human race. His fame is our common in- 
heritance. His Law is the law of Justice, providing 
for every good thought, word, and deed its fair 
reward ; for every evil one its proper punishment 
His Law is in harmony with the voices of nature, 
and the evident equilibrium of the universe. It 
yields nothing to importunities or threats, can be 
neither coaxed nor bribed by offerings to abate or 
alter one jot or tittle of its inexorable course. Am 
I told that Buddhist laymen are leading lives the re- 
verse of Baddistic ; that they display vanity in their 
worship and ostentation in their alms-giving ; that 
they are fostering sects as bitterly as Hindus ? So 
much the worse for the laymen ; there is the ex- 
ample of Buddha and his Law. Am I told that 
Buddhist priests are ignorant, idle fosterers of super- 
stitions grafted on their religion by foreign kings ? 
So much the worse for the priests : the life of 
their Divine Master shames them, and shows their 
unworthiness to wear his yellow robe or carry 
his beggar-bowl. There is the Law immutable, 
menacing ; it will find out and punish them. 

But what shall we say to those of another 



THE LIFE OF BUDDHA AND ITS LESSONS. 363 

cast of character — the humble-minded, charitable, 
tolerant, religiously aspiring hearts among the laity, 
and the unselfish, pure, c.nd learned of the priests 
who know the precepts and keep them ? The Law 
will find them out also ; and when the book of 
each life is written up and the balance struck, every 
good thought or deed will be found entered in its 
proper place. Not one blessing that ever followed 
them from grateful lips throughout their earthly 
pilgrimage will have been lost ; each will help to 
ease their way as they move from stage to stage of 
being 

**Unto Nirvana where the Silence h'ves," 



FINIS. 



GLOSSARY. 



By particular request, the following interpretations of Eastern words, used 
throughout the foregoing Lectures, are given. I should have thought that many 
of them were already familiar enough to the ordinary reader to obviate the 
necessity for their insertion here. But it seems not. 



Abiil Pharaj. A Persian, 
author of the " Book of Dynas- 
ties." 

Agastya. An ancient sage ol 
Southern India, much revered 
throughout tlie country. 

Apii. Fire, and its personified 
principle, in Hindu mythology. 

Agnihotra. A mystic cere- 
monial, performed by the Vedic 
Brahmans, with the object of 
developing the mystic fire latent 
in Akasd. 

Agnihotri. One who performs 
the ceremony of Agnihotra. 

Ahankaram. Personality; 



egoism. 



Ahriman. The Evil Principle 
of the Universe. 

Ahura Vairya. The funda- 
mental Parsee prayer, or confes- 
sion of faith. 

Ahzirmazihi, or Ahnra Mazda. 
The Good Principle of the Uni- 
verse (see also Hormazd). 

AJmruasters. An ancient 
Persian word, meaning "spirit- 
ual teachers." 

Ah'giod Lamh (literally, he of 
the golden hand). The name by 
which Zoroaster is referred to in 
an Irish MS. 

Aitareya Brdhviana. A sacred 



book ot the Brahmans, dealing 
with their rituals. 

Aiwydonhana. A waist-band 
worn by Zoroastrians. 

Akdsa. The subtle supersensu- 
ous matter pervading all space. 
In one aspect it is identical with 
the ^ther of Science. 

Alexandria, Neo-Platonists of. 
See N'eo-Platonist'i. 

Allah-Dag. A mountain in 
Central Asia. 

Aluf Khan. The Moham- 
medan Chief who signally de- 
feated the Parsis and disjicrsed 
them from their home in Persia. 

A jneshaspenfas. The first seven 
angels. 

Af/irita Bazar Patrika. A 
Calcutta native journal. 

Aniritsar. The sacred city of 
the Sikhs, in the Punjab. 

A nima. The power :; f psychics 
of increasing their weight. 

Arahats (literally, the worthy 
ones). The initiated holy men of 
the Buddhist and Jain faiths. 

Ardai Viraf. The purest of 
Magian priests at the Court of 
King Ardeshir Babaganof Persia. 

Ardai Viraf Naineh. A Per- 
sian book containing an account 
of Ardai Viraf. 



\6b 



GLOSSARY. 



Ardeshan. According to Euty- 
chius, the first priest of the 
Sacred Fire, appointed by 
Nimrod. 

Ardeshir Bahagan. The first 
prince of the Sassanian dynasty. 

^r/?a/(literally "the worthy"). 
A Buddhist or Jain sage (see 
also Arahais). 

Arjiin. One of the five 
brothers, called Pandavas, the 
heroes of the celebrated epic 
Mahahharat. 

Aryan, Pertaining to the 
Aryas, or ancient Brahmanical 
invaders of India, 

Aryan Occult Science. The 
ancient Aryans appear to have 
had a complete science of the 
subjective side of nature, as well 
as an esoteric philosophy based 
upon it. 

Aryaii Philosophy. The an- 
cient Aryas not only evolved the 
Sanskrit language — the most per- 
fect known — but also developed 
six major schools of Philosophy, 
and many minor ones. 

Aryas. The higher castes 
among the Hindus. 

Arya Samaj. A society 
founded, ten years ago, by the 
late Dayanand Saraswati, for 
the restoration of the Vedic 
doctrines and ceremonials. 

Ajyavarla. Theancientname 
of Northern India, where the 
Brahmanical invaders first 
settled. 

Ashfa Vidya. The eight 
branches of study. 

Asiatic Occnliistn. {See Aryan 
Occult Science. ) 

Asoha, King. A celebrated 
conqueror, monarch of a large 
portion of India, who is called 
"the Constantine of Buddhism." 
Temp, circa 250 B.C. 

Asrama, or Asra/nam. The 
hermitage of Indian recluses. 



Atash Bchrdm. The Zoroas- 
trian " fire-temple," or place of 
worship. 

Atharva Veda. One of the 
four most ancient and revered 
books of the Aryas. It is sup- 
posed by some Western Orien- 
talists to be mere '* theological 
twaddle," but is in fact a most 
valuable key to Esoteric phi- 
losophy. 

Atma. The spirit, the Aug ? 
eides. 

Attar. A perfume, otto of 
roses. 

Avatar. The incarnation of a 
god, so called among the 
Hindus. 

Avesta. The sacred books of 
the Zoroastrians. 

Babu. A title or prefix of 
honour current in Bengal ; the 
equivalent of "Master," Mon- 
sieur^ Iderr, etc. 

Bactric Worship. Nature wor- 
ship practised in Central Asia. 

Badrinath. A Hindu god. 

Bairagee. A member of a cer- 
tain order of religious mendicants 
in India. 

Baksheesh. A gratuUy or alms ; 
sometimes a bribe. 

Bamboo. A kind of Indian 
cane. 

Bares ma Twigs ^ or Rods. 
Parsi divining rods. 

Behedin. A layman, one not a 
hereditary priest. 

Belor Tagh. A mountain in 
Central India. 

Benares. The most renowned 
and sacred city of India, situ- 
ate on the banks of the river 
Ganges. It contains a great 
number of splendid ancient 
temples and palaces. 

Berosus. A Chaldean Priest. 

Bharat, Bharata. A name for 
India. 



GLOSSARY. 



367 



Bhuia ddk (literally ' ' Demon's 
Post "). The equivalent o( what 
we call a " Spiiitual Medium." 

Bokhara. An important city 
in Tartary. 

Borahs. A small Moham- 
medan sect, a sub-section of the 
Shiahs, well-known for their com- 
mercial shrewdness. 

Bo-tree. The Indian banyan 
tree {Fiais Religiosa). 'I'he his- 
torical tree under which Buddha 
attained spiritual knowledge. 

Brahma. The Hindu Deity 
which personifies the active 
cosmic evolutionary energy. 

Brahmaloka. The highest 
sphere of existence where forms 
obtain. 

Brahman, or Brahmin. The 
highest caste in India. (The 
former spelling more nearly re- 
presents the sound of the word 
in Sanskrit.) 

Brahminical Customs. Social 
and religious observances pre- 
scribed for the caste of Brahmans. 

Brahmo Samaj. A Hindu 
Theistic Society, founded about 
fifty years since by the late Raja 
Ram Mohun Roy ; whose ob- 
ject was to restore the pristine 
purity of the Hindu religion. 

Bramachari Bazoa. A Brah- 
man ascetic of Central India. 

Buddha. The founder of 
Buddhism. He was a royal 
prince, by name Siddharlha, 
son of Suddhorana, king of 
the Sakyas, an Aryan tribe. 

Buddhaship. The state ^of 
being a Buddha, or spiritually 
enlightened. 

Biiddhi. The spiritual ego. 
Buddhism. The moral philo- 
sophy taught by Buddha. 

Buddhist. One who accepts 
the moral philosophy of Buddha. 
Btingalozu. The com mon name 
in India for a dwelling-house. 



Cambodia. One of the coun- 
tries forming the Eastern 
Peninsula, between China and 
India. 

Cambyses. A Median King. 

Cashmiris. Inhabitants of 
Cashmere. 

Castes. Social divisions, or 
groups, among the Hindus. 
The four principal or primitive 
ones are those of priests, 
soldiers (including nobility), 
merchants and labourers. 

Chakras. Centres. In the 
body, centres of psychic energy. 

Channa. The servant of 
Buddha, who brought back to 
the king his father the news of 
his great Renunciation. 

Chatusashthikala Nirnaya. A 
treatise descriptive of the sixty- 
four arts known in ancient 
India. 

Cheia. A pupil of an adept in 
Occultism. 

Chi?nborazo. A volcano iu 
South America. 

Chinvat or Chinvad bridge of 
souls. The bridge which leads 
souls from this to the other 
world {Arabic). 

Chittaui. The mind. 

Cojijucius. A Chinese philo- 
sopher. 

Crore. Ten millions. 
Cutch. A province of West- 
ern India. 

'' Dabistan,'' or School cf Man- 
ners. A Persian work of the 
seventeenth century by Mohsan 
Fani. (An English translation is 
procurable.) 

Darab. A priest, one of the 
most distinguished of the Indian 
Piirsis (see Dastur Larab). 

Daraga. A river in ancient 
Persia. 

Darius. A king of ancient 
Persia. 



i68 



GZ0SSy1/^V. 



Dtviiis llyslaspcs. A Persian 
monarch, supposed to be the 
contemporary of Zoroaster. 

Dastiir. A high priest of the 
Zoroastrians. 

Dasttir Darab. One of the 
most distinguished of the Indian 
Parsi priests (see Darab). 

Derbent. A province in the 
Caucasian Viceroyalty of Russia. 
Dervishes of Arabia. A sect of 
Mohammedan ascetics and mys- 
tics, 

Desatir. An ancient mystical 
scripture of the Parsi religion. 

DevacJian (pronounced Deva- 
khdn). The conscious after-life. 
Devas. Gods. 

Devis. From the Sanskrit word 
Div, to shine : the Bright Ones 
— Elemental Spirits, Fairies, 
Sylphs, Dryads, &c. 

Dhmnvia. Religious law 
{Pali). 

Dharana. Holding a subject 
in mind steadfastly. 

Dhavalagiri, Mount. One of 
the important peaks of the Hima- 
layas. 

Dhydna, or Dhyan. Abstract 
contemplation. 

Driikhs-Naai. The personifi- 
cation in Zoroastrianism of a ma- 
lignant current of boreal mag- 
netism. 

Durbar. The state reception or 
" drawing-room " of an Indian 
Prince or magnate. 

Dzvaitas. Dualists; those who 
believe in the distinctness of the 
human spirit and the universal 
spirit. 

Eutychius. A priest and archi- 
mandrite at Constantinople, who 
wrote on Zoroastrianism. 

Fargard. A ch apter of a book . 
Fetish. An object of supersti- 
tious adoration ; as, for instance, 



an ugly image, or stock, among 
ignorant African tribes. 

Framji Gowasji Hall. One of 
the largest public buildings in 
Bombay. 

Franasti. Thedemon of death, 
mentioned in the Vemiidad, a 
sacred book of the Parsis. 

Gdharnhdrs. The five days at 
the end of the Parsi year, also 
other days of feasting in different 
seasons. 

Ganesha. The Hindu god of 
learning. 

Ganges. The most sacred river 
of India. 

Gathas. Portions of the Budd- 
hist Scriptures. 

Gautama Buddha. One of the 
names by which the Founder of 
Buddhism is known. 
Ghee. Clarified butter. 
" Gita,^^ ox Bhagavadgit-a. An 
episode of the Mahabharata^ a 
sacred book of the Brahmans. 

Gjaviddn Chrad (literally, 
eternal wisdom). Name of a 
book of that description. 

Gobi, Dese?t of. The same as 
Shatno, q.v. 

Gopis. Milk maids, with whom 
the god Krishna is represented 
in the Hindu mythology to have 
been in love. The fable is in- 
terpreted to mean the correla- 
tion of force (spirit) and matter. 
Gossain. A Vaishnava priest. 
Goutaj?ia, or Gautama, (See 
Gaiitama Buddha.) 

Gupha. A cave or subter- 
ranean resort of a Yogi, for medi- 
tation and psychic development. 
Gurti. Spiritual preceptor. 
Guru-asters (vide Zu7'u-asters). 
Gustaspa. Supposed to be 
identical with Darius Hystaspes. 

Hafiz. The greatest among 
the mystical poets of Persia. 



GLOSSARY. 



369 



Haines pi la - in Ida n . A m on g 
the Parsis, the period during 
which the lower animals began to 
evolve into men. 

Haonia. Among the Parsis, a 
god, and also a plant. 

Hara, Mount, Where Mo- 
hammed is said to have received 
the Koran. 

Hari. A name of Krishna or 
Vishnu. 

Harischandra. An Indian 
king mentioned in the Rama- 
yana. 

Heplaktis. A seven-rayed god 
of the Pythagoreans and Kaba- 
lists ; a concrete symbolization 
of the solar spcclriiin. 

Hermes. The greatest of the 
Egyptian teachers of the Eso- 
teric doctrine. 

Himalayas. The Himala- 
yan Mountains, which sep- 
arate India from Tibet, are 
not only the highest in the 
world, but also most connected 
with the earliest histories of our 
race. Exoterically, their highest 
peaks were represented as in 
connection with the heavens of 
Aryan mythology. 

Hi?navdt. Another name for 
the Himalayas. 

Hindu. Black ; a name said 
to have been contemptuously 
applied to the natives of India I 
by their Mohammedan con- [ 
querors. j 

Hinduism. Used here in the , 
sense of any orthodox school of 
Hindu religion. 

Hindu I hilosopJiy. There are 
six principal ancient schools of 
philosophy in India, with num- 
erous derived ones. For par- 
ticulars, see Encylopcedia Bri- 
fannica, or the Morks of Pro- 
fessor Max Midler, Monier 
Williams and others. 

Hindustan, The country [siati) 

2 A 



of the Hindus ; the Indian pen- 
insula. 

Hoinute. " Good thoughts ; " 
one of the three fundamental 
Zoroastrian commandments. 

^^ Honover." The fundamental 
Zoroastrian Confession of Faith 
and Prayer. 

Hormazd. The Eternal Prin- 
ciple of Good (see also Ahiir- 
uiazda). 

Hickhate. ** Good words." 

Iddhizoiddhindna. The science 
of spiritual development. 

IndianHeuip. An intoxicating 
smoking mixture prepared from 
the stalk of Canabis Indiea. 

Indian Jugglers. In India these 
form a separate and one of the 
lowest castes. Some of their 
feats are astounding for dexterity, 
others inexplicable, except upon 
the theory of some knowledge 
of the elements of Occult Science. 

Indu Prakash. A Bombay 
native journal. 

Indus. The principal river in 
the Punjab. 

Iran. Persia. 

Iranian. Persian. [faith. 

Islam. The Mohammedan 

lyaseram. The period of the 
evolution of the vegetable king- 
dom on earth, so called among 
Parsis. 

Jaimini. Expounder of the 
whole system of Brahmanical 
rituals. 

Jain. A religioussectin India, 
closely related to the Buddhists. 
They affu-m that Buddha wasa 
pupil of one of their sages. 

Jiva. Life ; a living being. 

Jivan-Mukta. The realization 
during life of the complete union 
of one's spirit (Sanskrit: atma) 
with the Universal Spirit. 

Ji7'-Atm.a. The human spirit. 

Jotir Math (literally, the tern- 



370 



GLOSSARY. 



pie of light). A celebrated shrine 
in ihe Himalayas. 
Jiuigle. An Indian forest. 

Kdbah. The black cubical 
stone of Mohammed at Mecca. 

Kahalists. Jewish doctors or 
adepts, who interpret the hidden 
meaning of the Scriptures with 
the help of the symbolical Ka- 
bala (unwritten tradition), and 
explain the real, or non -symboli- 
cal one by these means. The 
Tanaim (B.C. 3 cent.) were the 
first Jewish Kabalists so far as 
recorded. But the Jewish Ka- 
bala was derived from the much 
earlier and more perfect Chal- 
dean one. Both contain, under 
puzzling symbols, the Esoteric 
doctrine recently revived by the 
Theosophical Society. 

Kabciric. Pertaining to the 
mystery gods, symbolizing the 
initiations among the Samothra- 
cians, Assyrians, (S:c. 

Kabirim. The name given to 
the students of Kabala in the 
secret lodges of the Pharisees. 

Kaianian. The second great 
royal dynasty of ancient Persia. 

KalaPani. Black waters; the 
sea. Brahmans are forbidden by 
their religion to cross the ocean. 

Kalki Avatar. The Messiah of 
the Hindus ; the last incarnation 
o^ Vishnu, to appear at the end 
of the present cycle. 

Kajuarnpa. The principle of 
will in man. 

Kanada. The Founder of the 
(Indian) system of Atomic Philo- 
sophy, Vaisesikha, similar to the 
Heraclitan Philosophy of Greece. 

Kapila. The founder of one of 
the six principal systems of In- 
dian philosophy, viz., the San- 
khya. 

Kapilavastu^ Prince of, Gau- 
tama Buddha. 



Karma. The law of ethical 
causation : "whatsoever a man 
soweth, that shall he also 
reap." 

Khabardincs. A tribe of 
Caucasians. 

KJwrasan, Mountains of. In 
Persia. 

Khordah - Avesta (literally, 
"the small Avesta"). One of the 
Sacred Books of the Parsis. 

Kilauea. An enormous vol- 
cano in the Hawaian Islands. 

Koran. The Mohammedan 
book of faith, said to have been 
dictated to Mahommed by the 
angel Gabriel. 

Krishna. A Hindu god, per- 
sonifying the spirit. 

Ktirdistan. The country of the 
Kurds. 

Kiii-ds. Warlike tribesof East- 
ern Turkey and Persia ; nomin- 
ally, Mohammedans of the sect 
of Omar, but holding to rites 
and doctrines almost entirely 
Magian. Some tribes practise 
mysterious nocturnal rites of 
lunar worship, and in each tribe 
is at least one old man, or "holy 
being," who is said to know the 
past and to read the future. 

Kiisa. A kind of Indian grass 
used in religious ceremonies. 

Kusti. The sacred thread worn 
by the Parsis. 

Laghimd. The psychic power 
of lessening the weight of the 
body at will. 

Lakh, or lac. One hundred 
thousand. 

Laniaists of Tibet. The Budd- 
hists of Tibet. 

Lamas. Buddhist monks of 
Tibet. 

Laukiha. Psycho-physiologi- 
cal powers developed by the use 
of drugs and other physiological 
means. 



GLOSSARY. 



371 



Lirigasarira. The double or 
astral body. 

Lokothra. Psycliic powers ac- 
companying spiritual develop- 
ment. 

LotaJi. A brass gol)let. 

Lux?/ian Sen. The last Hindu 
king of Bengal. 

Mag. A word used by the pro- 
])het JereiTjjjah to designate a 
Babylonian Initiate. 

Maghistom . Once the title of 
Zoroaster's highest disciple, 
synonym of wisdom. 

Magi. Fire - worshippers ; 
really the great magicians or 
wisdom-philosophers of old. 

Magian. Pertaining to the 
Magi or Adepts of ancient India. 

Magianism. ' ' Fi re- worship ; " 
really wisdom-religion. 

Magus. A sage, so-called in 
ancient Persia. 

Maharajah. The great king ; 
also a title of honour. 

Alahatma (literally, " a great 
soul "). An adept in Occultism. 

Mahimnastava, A hymn of 
praise. 

Mahojnet, or Mohammed. The 
founder of Islam. 

Manas. The mind, the person- 
ality, the intellect. 

Alandickyo Upanishad. One of 
the ten principal Upanishads^ or 
prose supplements of the metrical 
Vedas, the most sacred book of 
the Brahmans. 

Mane/ho, dynasties of. His- 
tory of Egyptian kings according 
to Manetho, high priest of 
Ileliopolis. 

Mantra. Incantation. 

Manu. The great Hindu law- 
giver (see Mcmi). 

Marichi. One of the seven 
great sages of India. 

Mathatn. Temple. 

Mdya. Illusion which pro- 



duces the diverse manifestations 
of the one Reality. 

Maya Sabha. The palace of 
the Pandavas, built by Maya. 

Mayaviriipa. The " Double," 
*' doppelganger ' — " perisprit." 

Alazdiaznian. Zoroastrian ; 
literally, worshipping God. 

Medean Magi. Tlie adepts of 
Occult Science among the anci- 
ent Medes. They were ac- 
quainted with the secret doctrine 
taught in the Kabala. 

Media. Greek name for a part 
of Persia. 

Me7i2i. The great Indian legis- 
lator ; the alleged author of the 
national code of laws (see Manu). 

IMidiyariin. The period dur- 
ing which animal life was evol- 
ved ; so-called in Zoroastrianism. 

Mid])iizcram. In the sacred 
books of the Parsis a period 
of evolution, during which the 
heavenly canopy is said to have 
been formed. 

Mid-yirshan. In the Parsi 
religion the period of evolution 
during which clouds were formed. 

Mobed. TheZoroastrian priest. 

Mog. A Persian word, from 
which Magus, a true priest, is 
derived. 

Mogbed. A high priest of the 
Parsis, or fire-worshippers. 

Mogh Nnadhat. A name for 
Zoroaster in an Irish MS. 

Mohsan Fani. T h e a u t h or of a 
Persian work called "Dabistan," 
written about two centuries 
ago. 

A/oksha. Emancipation from 
conditioned existence. 

Moslem. Poetical abbreviated 
form of Mussulman ; a follower 
of Mohammed. 

Muktdima (literally, a liberated 
spirit). Theindivicfualityinman, 
when it has escaped from the 
bonds of illusion, 



372 



GLOSSARY. 



Mitld'i. Salvation, z'.^., release 
from conditioned existence. 
Mussulman. (See Moslem.) 

Narada. A great Indian sage. 

Natitch. An Indian dance, per- 
formed by professional female 
dancers. 

Nazar, or Nazir. Set apart, 
separated. 

Nazar s. A very ancient sect of 
adepts, existing ages before 
Christ. 

Nazaret. Assyrian Greek 
name for Zoroaster. 

Neilrherries. or Nil^iris. The 
" Blue INIountains." A range of 
hills in the INIadras Presidency 
with which many traditions of 
ancient sages and wonder-workers 
are connected. 

Neo-Platonists of Alexandria. 
Followers of a school of philo- 
sophy founded by Ammonius 
Saccas, which was highly altruis- 
tic and catholic. It recognized 
the existence of some portion of 
divine or spiritual truth in every 
form of religion, and left a deep 
impress upon early Christianity. 

Niraug. The liquid with which 
the Parsis wash their faces every 
morning. 

Nirvana. Beatitude, vioksha 
{q.v.). The state of abstract, 
spiritual existence. 

Nii~i'anic. Pertaining to Nir- 
vana, the Buddhist name for the 
final beatitude. 

Omar. The-second Khali fell of 
the Mohammedans. 

Ormazd- Yacht. A part of the 
Khordeh-Avesia ; a prayer. 

Osetya. A province in the 
Caucasian Viceroyalty of Russia. 

Osiris. The Egyptian sun -god. 

Padmdsan. A posture practised 
by some Indian mystics. It 
consists in sitting, with the legs 



crossed one over the other, and 
tl]e body straight. 

Pahlavi. An ancient language 
of the Zoroastrians. 

Pali. The language in which 
the principal scriptures of the 
Buddhists are written. 

Palingenesis. Thebeginningof 
the period of Cosmic activity ; 
also re-birth. 

Pandit. A learned Brahman. 

Pdnini. The greatest of San- 
skrit grammarians. 

Parabrahvia. The supreme 
principle in Nature. 

Parasnatha. One of the great 
teachers of the Jain sects. 

Parsiism. The religion of the 
Parsis, Zoroastrianism. 

Parsis. Followers of the 
ancient Persian faith ; fire-wor- 
shippers. 

Parvad. In Hindu mythology 
the goddess represeniing Cosmic 
Energy. 

Patanjali. The author of 
Yoga Philosophy. 

Pice. A small Indian copper 
coin, worth a little over an 
English farthing. 

Piti-shahim. According to the 
Parsis, the period during which 
the earth became consolidated 
out of primeval cosmic atoms. 

Prakriti. Nature, Cosmic 
matter. 

Pralaya. Theperiod of Cosmic 
rest. 

Prarthana SamaJ. A Theistic 
Society of Bombay. 

Prc-Iranian. Anterior to the 
Iranians or Persians. 

Piicca. Ripe, permanent. A 
pucca house is one built of good 
bricks and mortar, or other per» 
manent material. 

Puggri. A turban. 

Pundit. A Brahman learned in 
Sanskrit. 

Ptoijah. The northernmost 



GLOSSARY. 



373 



province of British India, and in- 
habited by the most \varhl<e races. 

fjiranas (literally, the old 
writings). A collection of Brah- 
manical writings, mostly of a 
mythical character, the least 
authoritative of all. 

Purdahs. Screens or curtains 
hanging before the entrance to 
the women's apartments. 

Pttrushas'pa. The father of 
Zoroaster, according to the 
native traditions. 

Radha. The queen among the 
Gopis, who are said to have 
been in love with Krishna. 

Rajagriha. An ancient city in 
Behar, where Buddha preached. 

Rajah, King ; also a title of 
nobility. 

Rama. The celebrated King of 
ancient India, the hero of the 
great epic, named Ramayan. 

Ramayana. A magnificent 
Indian epic poem. 

Ravana. King of Ceylon, and 
slain by Rama. 

Rislii (literally, a revealer). A 
holy sage. 

Rupee. An Indian silver coin, 
equivalent to about is. 8d. of 
English money. 

Riistani. A hero of the ancient 
Parsis, immortalised by Firdusi 
in the Shdh-Ndjiieh. 

Ryot. A peasant cultivator, or 
tiller of the soil. 

Sahaoih. Victory {HebreTo). 

Sa/'eans. Worshippers of the 
heavenly bodies. 

Sabha. A Society. 

Sabian, or Planetary Religion. 
The worship of the heavenly 
bodies. 

Sad-der. Literally, a hundred 
doors. 

Sadhxi. A holy man. 

Sahcysradalci'ii, One of the six 



centres of psychic energy in the 
human body. 

Sakya Mitni. The Holy 
Teacher of the Aryan tribe of 
the Sakyas. One of the appella- 
tions of Gautama Buddha. 

Samadki. Ecstatic trance. 

Saviaj. A Society. 

Sa?)iajist. A member of the 
Arya Samaj. 

Saviothracian. Pertaining to 
Samothrace. 

Sanjdn. The place where the 
fugitive Persians, persecuted by 
Omar, found shelter in India. 

Sankara Acharya, ox Sankara- 
charya. The author of the Ved- 
anta School of Philosophy, that 
which denies the personality of the 
Divine Principle, and affirms its 
unity with the spirit of man. 

Sanskrit (literally, \k\Q polished 
dialect). The classical language 
of the ancient Aryans ; the most 
copious, noble and scientifically 
constructed language in the 
world. Its literary treasures are 
incalculably precious. 

Sanyasis, A Sansla-it word, 
meaning a class of Hindu ascetics 
whose minds are steadfastly fixed 
upon the Supreme Truth. 

Sastras. The sacred writings of 
the Hindus. 

Sec an der. Alexander the 
Great. 

Sera}}iptir. A city in Bengal on 
the. banks of the Ganges. 

Serosliizad. An angel in the 
Zoroastrian hierarchy supposed 
to correspond to Gabriel. 

Shadachakranis. The six cen- 
tres of force in the human 
body. 

Shauio, desert of. In Tibet. 

Shi karri. A hunter. 

ShriniadBhagavata. The prin- 
cipal religious book of the 
Vaishnava. 

Siddha. One who has obtained 



374 



GLOSSARY. 



psychic powers by proficiency in 
the Occult vScience. 

Siddhis. Extraordinary powers 
obtained by spiritual develop- 
ment. 

Sikh War. The war for the con- 
quest of the Kingdom of Runjit 
Singh, the powerful monarch of 
the Sikhs, popularly styled "The 
Lion of the Punjab." The Koh- 
i-noor diamond belonged to him. 

Simla. A Sanatorium and hill- 
station in the foot-hills of the 
Himalayas ; the official summer 
residence of the Viceroy of 
India. 

Sita. The wife of Rama in 
Hindu Mythology, and the per- 
sonification of Cosmic Matter. 
As Rama personifies Spirit, their 
loving relationship typifies the 
correlation of Force and Matter. 

Siva. One of the Hindu gods ; 
with Brahma and Vishnu he 
forms the Tritmcrti, or Trinity. 

Sivaic Lingam. The* phallic 
representation of the Hindu god, 
Siva. 

Sivaite. A worshipper of Siva. 

Skandha. The impermanent 
elements which constitute a man. 

Slokas. vStanzas. 

Sohrab. Son of Rustam, the 
great Persian hero (see Rtis- 
tavi). 

Solar or Fire Worship. The 
religion of the Parsis, popularly 
so-called. 

Soma. A mystic drink, men- 
tioned in the Vedas. 

Soorb Ovanness. A monastery 
in Armenia. 

Sosiosh. The coming Messiah 
of the Zoroastrians. 

Sthulasarira, or SthitlSharij-a. 
The gross physical body. 

Stiddha Devas. The highest or 
purest gods. 

Siidra. The lowest caste among 
the Hindus, 



Stijis. A practically Pantheistic 
sect of the jNIohammedans, be- 
lieving in the ultimate " one- 
ness " with God. 

Suksh?na Sharira. The subtile 
body ; the double. 

Sutras. Aphorisms. 

Talisj?ian. A charm. 

Talmud. Jewish commentaries 
on the Bible. 

Talmudists. Students of the 
Talmud, or Rabbinical com- 
mentaries on the Jewish Scrip- 
tures. 

Tamasha. Show, display. 

Tantrika. Worshippers of the 
Indian goddess Sakti, who typi- 
fies Force. 

Telugu. Alanguage spoken in 
Southern India. 

Teocalis. Holy enclosures of 
the Arizona Indians. 

Theodidaktoi of Greece. The 
God-taught philosophers ; a 
school which sought a know- 
ledge of divine things by the 
self-development of the latent 
spiritual faculties. 

Thian Shan mountains. In 
Central Asia. 

Tibet, mystics of. A class of 
adepts of Esoteric Science among 
the highest grade of Buddhist 
ascetics. They are identical 
with the Hindu Mahatmas. 

Tiflis. The capital of Georgia. 

Travancore. A province in 
Southern India. 

Tripitikas. The sacred books 
of the Buddhists. 

Tukaram. A religious poet 
who flourished in the Bombay 
Presidency, and attained great 
popularity. 

Turban. A cloth wrapped 
about the head as a covering, in- 
stead of a hat or cap. 

Tiiticorin. The most Southern 
Indian sea-port. 



GLOSSARY, 



375 



Ushidannna. The mountain 
on which Zoroaster is said to 
have obtained his sacred Scrip- 
tures. 

Vach. The Logos, the mystic 
word. 

Vaishnava. Worshippers of 
Vishnu. 

Vasishta. Agreat Indian sage. 

Vatsavana, A sage of ancient 
India. 

Vedaiitists, Followers of the 
Vedanta, a system of Indian 
ideahstic philosophy. 

Vedas. The most authoritative 
of the Hindu Scriptures. 

Veda Vyasa. The celebrated 
Rishiwho collected and arranged 
the Vedas in their present form. 

Vedic. Pertaining to the Veda, 
or four oldest sacred books of 
the Aryans, viz., Rig, Yajur, 
Sama, and Atharva. They are 
considered as having been di- 
rectly revealed to the Rishis, or 
Aryan sages, by Brahma. 

Vendidad. One of the Zoroas- 
trian sacred books. 

Vihara. A Buddhist monas- 
tery. 

Vishnu. The second member 
of the Hindu Trinity — the prin- 
ciple of preservation. 

Visishtadvaitis. An Indian re- 
ligious sect who believe in salva- 
tion by grace. 

Vistdsp. A Bactrian King. 
Vomer. The nasal cavity. 
Vurushte. ' ' Good deeds ;" the 
third great commandment of 
Zoroaster. 

Yapia. A sacred Zoroastrian 
Book. 

Yasht. A part of the Parsi 



Prayer - book — the Khordeh 
Avesta. There are several of 
them. 

YathCi aim Yahy6. The funda- 
mental Zoroastrian prayer and 
confession of faith. 

Yazata. The angels inferior to 
the Amshaspanos. 

Yazaias. The personified good 
principles of Nature. 

Yoga. The science and art of 
spiritual development. 

Yoga Sulras. The parts of the 
Yoga Philosophy. 

Yoga Vidya. The science of 
Yoga ; the practical method of 
uniting one's own spirit with the 
Universal Spirit or Principle. 

Yogi. Amystic who is develop- 
ing himself spiritually according 
to the system laid down in 
Patanjali's Yoga Philosophy. 

Yozdathraigur. The same as 
Magus, an adept of ancient 
Persia. 

ZaratiisJii, or ZaratJmstra. A 
Persian form of the name Zoro- 
aster. 

Zend. The sacred language of 
ancient Persia. 

Zend Avesta. Thesacred Scrip- 
ture of the Parsis, or fire-wor- 
shippers. 

''Zera-Lshtar." The title of the 
Chaldean or Magian priests. 

Zoroaster. The Prophet of the 
Parsis. 

Zoroastrian. Pertaining to the 
religion of Zoroaster. 

Zoroastrianism. The religion 
of the Parsis, commonly called 
Fire-worshippers. 

Ziirii-aste> s. The prophets of 
the Parsis. 



INDEX. 



Absolute Truth, 58 

Abul Pharaj, his Book of Dynas- 
ties, quoted, 344 

Adepts, 139, 163, 212 

Aeronautics, perfection of the 
Aryans in, 265 

Agni, fire of, T28 

Agnihotra, the, 128, 157 

Ahankaram, 95 

Akasa, the, 100, loi, 209, 295 

Alexandria, Neo-platonists and 
Theurgists of, 55 

Amoretti, investigations by, 213 

Amrita Bazar Pairika, the fear- 
less champion of Indian in- 
terests, 189 

Apparitions, 89, 122 

Apollonius of Tyana, on the 
occult properties of gems, 214 

Arabian Nights, the, 245 

Arnold, Edwin, his Light of 
Asia, quoted, 35S, 359, 362, 

Aryan philosophy, xiii., 74, 129, 

151, 162, 168, 171 
Aryan wisdom, 71, 123 
Arya Samaj, x., 54, 175, 271 
Aryavarta, 55, 67, 71, 80, 127, 

165, 170, 171, 267 
"Ashta Vidya," 266 
Asoka, King, edicts of, 112 
Asramas, private passages to, 98 
Astral self, 140 
Atharva Veda, 156 
Atheism, 272 
Atma, 59, '^'S>, 93, 94, 95, 105, 

I33> 273 
Aura, the, 156, 313, 314 

Bach, the composer, 231 



' Bagehot, Walter, on the ancients 

and "progress," 292 
Bain, Professor, 100, 131 
Bairagee, dirty, 114 
Beal, Rev. Samuel, his Catena 

of Buddhist Scriptures, quoted , 

354. 

Berzelius, theory of, 295 

Bible, the, 325 

Biology, 285 

]>lack Art, the, 321 

Blavatsky, Madame, psychic 
phenomena produced by, -^t^', 
355 385 43 ; her J sis Unveiled^ 
46, 48, 54, 57; becomes an 
American citizen, 57; quoted, 
59 : munificence of, 120 ; the 
author's first meeting witli, 
121, 122, 159, 190-195, 227. 
229, 233, 240, 241, 245, 297, 

309> 319, 341 
Boeckh, 260 

Boehmen, Jacob, 73 

Bombay, addresses delivered at, 

49 

Bombay, approach to, 125 

Bombay, youth of, 75 

Bradlaugh, Mr., 79 

Brahmaloka, 118 

Brahminical customs, 156-157 

Brahmo Samaj, 54, 271 

Bramachari Bawa, 265 

Brugsch Bey, on the origin of 
the old Egyptians, 261 

Buchanan, Professor, his discov- 
ery of the psychometer, 209, 
249 

Buddha, Lord, his answer to the 
Kalama people, 40; debate 
between and jiis projected 



78 



INDEX. 



"Double," 96; recumbent 
image of, 155 ; his retirement 
to desert places, 206 ; his life 
and its lessons, 349-363 

Buddhi, '^%^ 94, 95 

Budd/iisl Catechism, 106 

Buddhist, the, 58 

Bunsen, 260 

Burnouf, 258 

Cahagnet, the French meta- 
physician, his tribute to the 
Theosophical Society, 18S ; 
210, 255 

Calcutta, first visit to, 119 

Calhoun, Major, on the survival 
of the Fire- Cult among the 
Indian tribes of Arizona, 319 

Cama, K. R., the eminent Parsi 
scholar, 70, 343 

Camomile plant, the, 150 

Carpenter, Professor W. B., 242 

Caste, 74-75 

Ceylon, 213, 262 

Ceylon, Branch Society at, 51 

Charms and spells, 328 

" Chatusashthikala Nirnaya," 
263 

Chemistry, limitations of, 295 

Chela, 122 

Chinvat Bridge of Souls, 144, 

339 

Chittam, 95 

Chittenden, a village in Ver- 
mont, the scene of the Eddy 
]:)henomena, 237, 241 

Christadelphians, the, 177 

Christianity, dogmatic fabric of, 
17-19 

Christianity, in America, 78 

Chubb lock of the Universe, 201 

Cicero, house of, 208 

Civilisation, measure and marks 
of, 293-294 

Clairvoyance, 144, 213, 250 

Communist refugees, conspir- 
acies of, 57 

Comparative philology, 266, 
274 

Compton, Mrs., case of, 139 



Comte, 115 

Confucius, 74, 112, 168 

Conway, Mr. Moncure D., saying 
of, 36 

Cook, Mr. Joseph, unmanly 
conduct of, 112, 338 

Cosmogony, Hebrew, 289 

Cox, Serjeant, his phrase of ^ 
" Psycliic Force," 220 

Crookes, Mr. William, discover- 
ies of, 203, 211; his Researches 
in the Phenomena ofSpirit7ial- 
ism, 219, 220, 224, 225, 227 ; 
a member of the Theosophical 
Society, 255 

Crystal-reading, 207, 210, 212- 
213, 252 

D'abistAN, or School of Man- 
ners, 84, 178, 179; one of the 
most valuable of books for the 
thoughtful Parsi, 339 

Dalhousie, Lord, Governor- 
General of India, 150 

Darmesteter, Dr., his Introduc- 
tion to the Vendidad, quoted, 
312, 327; 336 

Darwin, his theory of evolution, 
250 

P)astur Darab, 318 

Davis, Andrew Jackson, 63, 73, 
144 

Defense iir, Le, Parisian organ 
of the Ultramontane party, its 
friendly attitude towards the 
Theosophical Society, 42 

Demoniac agency, 244 

Denton, Professor, his Sozil of 
Ihings, 208 

Dervishes, 323 

Desatir, the, 145, 304 

Desmousseaux, Chevalier, series 
of books by, 243 

Devachan, 89 

Devils, 321 

Dharana, 139, 148 

Dhyana, fourth stage of, 107, 
139, 141, 148 

Dickens, Charles, his Jack 
Btmsby, 198 



INDEX, 



179 



Disestablishment, 79 
Divining-rods, 325, 329 
Dondoukoff Korsakoff', Prince, 
Viceroy of the Caucasus, 

309 
Dosabhoy Framjee, his work on 

The Par sees, quoted, 310, 342 
"Double," the, 92, 95, 96, 100, 

loi, 123, 135, 152, 254, 295 
Draper, Professor, 79, his Con- 
Jiict between Religion and 

Science, 288 
Dryden, quoted, 170 
Dualists, their belief regarding 

the soul, 87, 102, T04 
Duncker, Prof, his Geschichte des 

AlterthiDHs, 343 
Dupotet, Baron, 209, 255 
Dwaitas, the, 114 

Eastern philosophy, 68 
Ecce Homo, 18 
Ecstatics, 212, 214 
Eddy, Horatio, 238 
Eddy, William, the famous 
medium, 122, 139, 232, 236- 
242 
Edinburgh, 41 

Edison, discoveries of, 203 ; a 
member of the Theosophical 
Society, 255 
Edmonds, Chief Justice, on the 
number of American spiritual- 
ists, 216 
Edmonds, Miss Laura, 243 
Ego, the, 48, 89, 136, 138, 162 
Egypt, antiquity of, 260-261 
Egypt, Hierophants of, 247 
Egyptian pyramids, the, 208, 260 
Electric light, 203 
Electricity, 93 

Elphinstone College, 70, 303 
Ennemoser's History of Magic^ 

quoted, 321, 330 
Esdaile, Dr. James, his Natural 
and Mesmeric Clairvoyance, 
quoted, 149, 150, 15 1 
Esoteric Buddhism, 29, 43 
Etchmiadzine, monastery of, 

309 



Ether, 100 
Euhemerization, 350 
Eutychius, on Zoroastrianism, 

308 
Exorcism, special forms of, 243 

Fasces, Roman, 67 

Fauvety, M., on human frater- 
nity, 188 

F61ix P6re, his taunt to the 
Academic, 61, 200 

Finis coronal opus, 1S5 

Fire-philosophers, 55 

Fire-worship, 308, 315 

Flammarion, Camille, 255 

Fludd, Robert, on Fire, 315-316 

Folk-lore, 251 

Force, 60, 100 

Framji Cowasji Hall, Bombay 

49' 63 , . r o 

France, 79 ; population ot, 27b 

Freemasons, their means of 
mutual identification, 56 

French Communist refugees, 
conspiracies of, 57 

Galileo, 149, 289 
Ganpatrao, Mr., editor of the 

hidti Prakash, his asperations 

of the Theosophists, 186, 188 
Gathas, the, 145 
Gautama, 59, 74, 112, 168, 247 
Gems, 214 
Geometry, 146 
Germany, rupture of wi^h the 

Pope, 79 
God, 38, 62, 73, no 
Gould, Baring, his Cniious 

Myths of the ^Middle Ages, 326. 
Gray, quoted, 125 
Gregory, Professor William, 210 

Haeckel, 115 
Hafiz, quoted, 183-184 
Haldane and Kemp's translation 

of Schopenhauer, 15 
Hare, Robert, the Nestor of 

American Chemistry, 217, 

218, 220 






INDEX. 



Harris, Rev. Thon^as Lake, ex- \ 

periences of, 222 
Hashtop, Queen, temple of, 262 
Hebrew Cosmogony, 289 
Hermes, rod of, 325 
Hermetic doctrine, the, 46 
Hierophants of Egypt, 247 
Himavat, short cut to, 98 
'Hindu, 58 

Hinduism, what is good in, 103 
Hints oil Esoteric 1 heosophy^ 90 
Hume, David, his Enquijy con- 
cerning Htiman Understand- 
ing, 198; argument of, 235 
Hunter, Dr., his England's Work 

in India, quoted, 278 
Huxley, Professor, his Lay 
Sermons, quoted, 24 ; his 
Physical Basis of Life 
quoted, 61, ^t^, 200; quoted, 
288, 2S9, 291 ; his Lay Ser- 
mons, quoted, 298 

Illumination, 247, 314 

Illusion, 153 

Immortality, individual, 25, 59 

Incantation, 329, 335 

India, 49 ; industry and re- 
sources of, 77; products of, 78 

India,'Past, Present, and Future, 
257-283 

Indian Press, its attitude towards 
the Theosophical Society, 71 

Infallibility, out of fashion, 49 

Initiate, the, 96, 157 

Ireland, over-populated, 27S 

Irish National Church, disestab- 
lishment of, 79 

Isis Unveiled, 54, 57, 59, 191, 

297, 319 
Islam, 58 

J ACER, Dr., experiments of, 

35<J-357 
Jain, the, 58 

Jennings, Mr. Hargrave, his j 

Kosicrucidns, quoted, 315 I 

Jesuits, expulsion of from France, ' 

79 ' 

esus, 59; temptation of, 205, | 



20S ; his best maxims taught 
by others, 299; suspected of 
employing magic arts, 327 ; 
mythical biographies of, 351, 



353 



Jews, 58 

Jiva, %-], 94, 95 

Jivan-Miikta, or soul emanci- 
pated, 63 

Jiv-Atma, or life principle, the, 
138 

Jones, Sir William, 258, 312. 

Kabala, the Chaldean sacred 
^volume, 312, 315 

Kabeiric mysteries, 318, 321 

Kaiviin, aZoroastrian sage, 179 

Kamarupa, 88, 94 

Karma, or merit, the corner- 
stone of Religion, 102 

Kepler, 149 

Keshub Babu Chunder Sen, 116, 
126 

Kilauea, crater of, 164 

Kinetic theory of gases, 285, 
291 

Kingsford, Anna, The Perfect 
Way, 46 

Koh-i-noor diamond, the, 138, 

374 
Koran, the, 207 
Korner, Dr. Justinus, 211 
Krishna, 156, 350, 351 
Kurd, appearance of a, 240-241 

Lane-Fox, Mr., 255 

Lange's History of Material' 

ism, quoted, 29, 30 
Le Conte, quoted, 61 
Levi, Eliphas, his Dogme et 

Rituel de la Hatite Magie, &c. , 

344 
Levitation, 211 

Leyden jar, how discharged, 

.^57 
Life-principle, the, 138 
Lindsay, Lord, 234, 255 
Lingasarira, 87, 95 
Loadstone, powos of, 214 
London, idle capital in, 77 



INDEX. 



581 



Lubbock, Sir John, his address 
to the British Association, 
285, 286, 292, 297 

LuUy, Raymond, 112-I13 

Luxman Sen, 160 

MacGreCxOR, Dr., his History 
of the Sikh War, 143 

MacMahon, Marshal, 79 

Magianism, 312 

Magic, 149, 325 

Magnetism, 207 

Mahatmas, description of 97, 
98 ; the author receives visits 
from, 123, 124, 139, 196 

Mahiijinastava, The, quoted, 
162 

Mahomet, 206 

Maitland, Edward, The Perfect 
Way, 46 

Man, 132, 133 

Manas, 88, 94, 95 

Mandiikyo Upanishad, 95 

Manetho, dynasties of, 260 

Mapes, Professor, 234 

Materiahsm, unscientific, xii. 

Matter, our Western ignorance 
of, 24 

Maudsley, Henry, 100 

Mayavirupa, %'^, 89, 92,95, lOl, 
123, 133, 134, 135 

Mediumism, 109 

Mediumship, peril of, 244 

Mena, monarchy of, 260 

Merit, or Karma, the corner- 
stone of Religion, 102 

Mesmer, 207 

Mesmerism, a necessary branch 
of study, 108 ; ordinary ex- 
periments, 138, 150-151 

Mexico and Peru, sacred litera- 
ture of, 62 

Mill, John Stuart, his Disserta- 
tions and Discussions, quoted, 

137-138 
Milton, the Heaven of, 63, 144 
Miracles, Hume on, 198 
Miraculous phenomena, im- 
possibility of, 91 
Missionaries, Christian, 58 



Mohini, Mr., 45 

Mohsan Fani, 84, 1 78 

Moksha, 144, 187, 313 

Montezuma, 319 

Moore, Thomas, quoted, 202 

Moses, 58, 267, 308 

Moses, Rev. Stninton, 226, 22S 

Moslem Paradise, 63 

Mozart, 238 

Muktatma, or soul universalized, 

Mukti, or emancipation, T05, 

107 
Milller, George, "the Lord's 

Dealings with," 329 
Milller, Max, 15 ; his Chips from 

a German Workshop, quoted, 

16, 259, 312 ; on the Buddhist 

moral code, 361 
Mysticism, literature of, 143 

"Nature," motto of the journal 
so-called, 40 ; report of an 
address taken from, 285 

Nazars, the, 305 

Neilgherries, the, 98 

Neo-Platonists of Alexandria, 

55. 247 
Nihilist party in Russia, 79 

Nirvana, 105, 206, 313, 356, 

357, 3<JO, 363 
Numa, 319, 321 

Occult Sciences, the, 60, 198 
Od, or Odyle, 156, 158, 209- 

212, 249 
Odic aura, 156 
Oliver, Rev. George, his History 

of Initiation, quoted, 347 
Omar, sword of, 302 
Ontology, 85 
Oriental philosophy, 54 
Orpheus, on the loadstone, 214 
Ossetines, the, their curious 

custom of sepulture, 342 
Ouvarof, Count, the Nestor of 

Russian archaeologists, 341, 

342 
Owen, Robert Dale, 216, 231 



382 



INDEX. 



Palestine Exploration Society, 

340 

Palingene:-iis, Asiatic theory of, 
106 

Parabrahma, 59, 145 

Paracelsus, 207 

Parasnatha, 58, 331 

Parsi Archeeological Society at 
Pjombay, x. 

Parsi, the, 58, 331. 

Patanjaii, his Yoga Sjilras, 90, 
144, 147, 148, 153, 154 

Peebles, Mr. J. M., his researches 
at York, 228 

People from the other Woi'ld, 89, 
139, 241, 242 

Perty, Professor, 21 1 

Philadelphian, a name that might 
have been adopted by the 
Theosophical Society, 177 

Phonograph, the, 203 

Pierce, Mr., 223 

Pius IX., Pope, anathematizes 
mediumship, 243 

Plato, 267 

Pliny, quoted, 321 

Plotinus, the philosopher, why 
he refused to reveal his birth- 
place and parentage, 303 

Pope, Alexander, quoted, 62, 
131, 201 

Porphyi'y, the pupil and liter- 
ary biographer of Plotinus, 






Prarthana Samaj, 54, 175, 271 
Prayer, efficacy of, 329 
Precious stones, 214 
Prideaux, his Ancient Universal 

History^ quoted, 308 
Printing, discovery of, 79 
Prognostication, power of, 109 
Progress, real and false, 292-297 ; 

a relative term, 296 ; mask of 

removed, 300 
Psychic phenomena, 146, 147 
Psychology, 48, 86, loS, 129 ; 

sceptre of, 137, 148, 273 
Psychometry, 109, 138, 208, 

209, 249 
pundits, the, attitudeof, 127, 128 



Puranas, the, 207 
Pythagoras, on precious stones, 
214 

Raja Rammohun Roy, 45 
Rajendralala Mittra, Dr., his 

story of a Sadhu, 141 
Raniayana, story in the, 90 
Rammohun Roy, 45 
Raymond Lully, 112- 1 13 
Reformation, the, 79 
Reichenbach, Baron von, his Re • 

searches on Magnetism, 121, 

154, 155^158, 207 ; -209, 210, 

211, 213, 249, 343 
Reincarnationists, modern school 

of, 106 
Religion, 81 

Renan, Ernest, quoted^ 260 
Rishis, the, 58, 71, 99, 103, 

no, 113, 115, 118, 121, 128, 

247, 265 

Roman /rzjr^j, 67 
Rule, Margaret, levitation of, 21 1 
Runjit Singh, 142, 143 
Russia, 56, 57, 79. 

Saehapathy Swami, work 

published by, 151, 154 
Sadhu, story of a, 141 ; burial 

of a, 142-143; pretended, 164 
Sahasradalam,^94 
Sakya-Muni, 58, 73, 208, 314,353 
Salem witchcraft horrors, 211 
Samadhi, 139 

Sankara Acharya, 73, 90, 208 
Sanskrit literature, study of, 15, 

258, 274 
Sapphire, the, supposed magical 

property of, 213 
Sastras, the, 128, 133, 143, 145, 

151, 156, 160 
Schopenhauer, Arthur, on the 

Vedas and Upanishads, 15, 33 
Schweigger, quoted, 319 
Science, 79 
Stances, 139 
Self, the serpent coiled beneath 

the flowers of life, 184. 
Sensuality, 68 



INDEX. 



-^.8 



j"j 



Shadadiakrams, 94 

Shakespeare, quoted, 166 

Shankar Pandurang Pandit, his 
translation of the Vedas, 274 

Simla, 291 

Sinbad, in the Valley of Dia- 
monds, 119 

Sinnett, Mr. Alfred Percy, his 
Esoteric Biiddhisui, 29 ; and 
Occult World, 43, 46, 97 

** Sitarama Anjaniyam (Cosmic 
matter)," 95 

Slade, Dr. Henry, his rare 
mediumist powers, 229; falsely 
charged with dishonesty, 229- 
230 

Solavief, Professor, the " Her- 
bert Spencer of Russia," 192 

Somnambules, 212 

Sorcery, 321 

"Soul," meaning of the word, 
130 

Soul-principle, the, 139 

Spencer, Herbert, on Religion, 
20, 21, 23, 81, iro, 131, 134, 

Spirit-rapping, 148, 220,225,226 

Spiritualism, 22 ; literature of, 

221 

Spiritualists, ancient and modern, 

55 
Stewart, Professor Balfour, his 

Unseen Universe, 25, 47, 100; 

his Conservation of Energy^ 

quoted, 60-61, 62, 73 

Sthulasarira, 87, 88, 93, 94, 133, 

134 

Supernaturalism, the curse of all 

creeds, 91 
Swami Dayanand Saraswati, 

the eminent Aryan reformer, x 
Swedenborg, 73, 144 
Syllabus of the Vatican Council, 

49 

Table-moving, 225 
Tait, Peter Guthrie, his Un- 
seen Universe, 25, 47, 100 
Talismans, secret of, 335 
Talmud, the, 305 



Technology, schools of, 76 
Telephone, the, 203 
Temple, Sir Richard, on the 
decay of the Hindu faith, 271, 

273. 

Theodidaktoi of Greece, 247 

Theosophical Society, 27-29 ; a 
primary object of, 32, 41 ; 
its raison d'etre, 49 ; its aims, 
50; progress of, 51-52; its 
platform, plans, and prospects, 
53-56 ; arcana of, 56 ; its 
organisation and constitution, 
55-57 ; its attitude towards 
religious belief?, 57-59; recep- 
tious at Bombay, 70 ; not a 
money-making body, 71 ; its 
attitufle towards science, 85, 
98-99 ; declared policy and. 
platform of, 108 ; foundation 
of, 123, 145, 146 : rules and 
regulations of, 159, 175, 181 ; 
not a miracle club, 193, 195, 
203, 215, 338 

Theosophist, The, 29 ; motto of, 
40, 46, 126-127, 187, 189-190, 
340 

Theosophy, defined by Webster, 
53 ; purposes to make men 
better, 57 ; proper definition 
of, 129, 148, 176, 177, 180, 
184, 185, 197, 256 

Theurgists, 55 

Thought-reading, 228 

Thought, transmissibility of, 
109 

Tibet, mystics of, 147 

Training in Occult Science, 146, 

I47» i<^3 
Trance, 90, 109 
Tripitikas, the, 60 
Truth, absolute, 58 
Tukaram, 186, 187 

United States of America, 67, 

75, 7^, n 
Unity, 67 

Universal Brotherhood, 146, 18^]^ 

189 
University degrees, 75 



3§4 



INDEX. 



Upanishads, the, 15, 28, 33, 39 

Vasishta, 59 

Vatican Council, syllabus of, 49 

Vatsavana, 263 

Vedantism, 151 

Vedantists, the, 145 

Vedas, the, 39 ; sublime utter- 
ances of, 60, 112, 206, 274 

Vcdic philosophy, 71 

Vedic religion, x 

Vestal mysteries, Roman, 319, 
321 

Visishtadvaitis, 114 

Vital force, imparted by the 
mesmerist, 109 

Von Vay, Baroness, 210 

Wade, Sir Claude, his Camp 
and Court of Ruiijil SiiKjh, 

143 

V>\igncr, Professor, of St. Peters- 
burg, his review of People 
frovi the other JVorld^ 10^2. 

Wallace, Alfred Russell, on 
Hume's theory of miracles, 
198 ; on spiritualist pheno- 
mena, 225-227, 242 ; a mem- 
ber of the Theosophical 
Society, 255 

Ward, Mr., his work on Indian 



History, Literature, and My- 
thology, quoted, 263-264 

Webster, his definition of ' ' Theo- 
sophy." 53 

Williams, Prof. Monier, article 
in the N'inctcenth Century 
quoted, 331, 337-33S 

Witchcraft, 149 

Wordsworth, quoted, 40 



Yoga, 90; science of, 129 ; four 
stages of, 140, 147, 151, 

153, 179, 265 
Yoga Vidya, 129 
Yogi, the, loi, 139, 147, 

154, 179, 265, 279 
Youngs, Mrs., raises a piano- 
forte from the floor, 233, 234 



152, 



152, 



Zaratusht, 20S, 302, 303, 304 

Zcndavesla, 60, 207 

ZoUner, Fr., 217, 229 

Zoroaster, 58, 59, 74 ; Bactrian 
rock-cut image of, 155, 168, 
206, 301 ; real history of never 
written, 307, et sapius seqq , 

Zoroastrian Religion, spirit of the, 
301-348 _ 

Zoroastrianisin, x., 302, 
the old life gone out of, 309 



iPZ', 



S. COWAN & CO.. STRATU.MORE PRINTING WOK.KS, 1 ERTK, 



15 York Street, Covent Garden, 
London, December 1888. 



Mr Redway's Publications 



New and Forthcoming Works 



hi Crozvit Svo, Cloth^ ^s. 6d. 

Practical Heraldry ; 

Or, an Epitome of English Armory. 

SHOWING 

How, AND BY Whom Arms may be Borne or Acquired, 

How Pedigrees may be Traced, or Family 

Histories Ascertained. 

By CHARLES WORTHY, Esq., 

Formerly of H.M. 82nd Regiment, and sometime Principal Assistant to the 

late Somerset Herald ; Author of "Devonshire Parishes," &c., &c. 

With 124 Illustrations from Designs by the Author. 

Introductory.— Science of Heraldry, Coats of Arms, Varieties of Arms, Partition Lines, 
Tinctures, Furs, Ordinaries, &c., &c.— Common Charges, Lions and other Beasts, Heraldic 
Monsters, &c., &c.— Miscellaneous Objects Alphabetically arranged.— Technical Terms 
used in Heraldry.— The Rules of Blazon.— The Marshalling of Arms, Hatchments, &c., &c. 
—Crests, Mottoes, Helmets, Mantlings, Supporters, and Coronets.— The Rules of Preced- 
ence.— Peers, Baronets, Knights, Esquires, Gentlemen.— Advice to Pedigree Hunters, How 
to Trace a Pedigree, Parochial Registers, Public Documents, Probate Court, Fees, &c., 
&c.— The College of Arms, Officers of Arms, Heraldic Records, Heraldic Fees, Grants of 
Arms, Change of Name. — Liveries, with some Remarks upon Cockades, and those who are 
entitled to use them.— General Remarks, Drawing and Illuminating, Taxes in respect of 
Arms. 



2 Vols. Demy Sz'o, Cloth, 25^-. 

Philosophy of Mysticism 

{PHILOSOPHIE DER MYSTJK). 

By DR carl DU PREL. 

Translated from the German by C. C. Massey. 



i2?)io, Cloth^ \s. 



The Grammar of Palmistry. 

By KATHARINE ST. HILL. 
With Eighteen Illustrations. 

Contents :— On the Outline and Mounts— On the Lines— On the Palm of the Hand and 
Lesser Lines— On Signs of Illness, Temper, and on Special Qualities— On Reading the 
Hands {Examples)— T\i& Hands of Distinguished Persons— Glossary of Terms. 



In demy Zvo, Cloth ^ \os. 6d. 

The Indian Religions ; 

Or, Results of the Mysterious Buddhism. 

Concerning that also which is to be understood in the 

Divinity of Fire. 

By HARGRAVE JENNINGS, 

AUTHOR OF THE " ROSICRUCIANS, THEIR RITES AND MYSTERIES," ETC. 



Demy Svo, Cloth extra, *js. dd. 

Bacon, Shakespeare, and the 

Rosicrucians. 

By W. F. C. wigs ton. 

With Two Plates. 

Contents : — Chapter I. — John Heydon — The Rosicrucian Apologist — His Family — And 
Character — Identity of Bacon's " New Atlantis " with Heydon's "Land of the Rosicrucians" 
— Bacon's Hand to be traced in the famous Rosicrucian Manifestoes — Discovery of his 
Initials among the Members of the Fraternity — Proofs that the antedating of the Origins of 
the Rosicrucian Brotherhood was a Splendid Fraud. Chapter II. — The Prophecy of Para- 
celsus — A Stage Player one of the greatest impostors of his age, probably Shakespeare 
— Description of the Rosicrucian Manifestoes — Lord Bacon as Chancellor of Parnassus 
— Meeting of the Rosicrucians in 1646 at Warrington, at a Lodge, in order to carry 
out Lord Bacon's Ideas — Adoption of his Two Pillars — Origins of Modern Masonry 
in England, as modified Rosicrucianism — Bacon's oral Method of Transmission — 
His Familiarity with the Mysteries. Chapter III. — The Tempest — Islands of Souls or 
Spirits — Avalon — " The green grass Island of Apples " — Identified with Prospero's Island — 
Avalon identified with Atlantis — Virgil's Mysteries refound in The Tempest — Sirens and 
the Sea — Meaning of the word Tempest, as allied to Creation. Chapter IV. — Vcmis^ and 
Adojiis — Key or Myth Centre of the Rosicrucian Emblem the Crucified Rose — Meaning of 
the Adonis Myth — Its Solar Origin — The Rose Emblem for Adonis — The Hermetic Crystal 
and Rosewater — The Crucified Truth — Light, Life, and Logos — As the Crucified Rose — 
The Secret of Immortality derived from the Conservation of Energy — The Phoenix and the 
Palm Tree — The Rose Cross the last Degree in Masonry — The Paradise of Dante — The 
Rose Dante's Divine Word or Logos. Chapter V. — Freemasonry — St Albans, the Home of 
Lord Bacon, and the Origins of Freemasonry in England — Allusions to St Albans in the Plays 
— Arms of St Albans, a St Andrew's Cross — Johann Valentin Andreas— His Arms also, a St 
Andrew's Cross — Curious Facts connected with the Publication of the Rosicrucian Manifestoes 
— Andreas, the supposed Author of the " Fama," denies all connection with the Fraternity — 
Antiquity of Masonic Records in Architecture. ChapterVI. — Hermetic and Masonic Origins 
in the Plays — The Phoenicians, the Transmitters of the Hermetic and_ Masonic Gnosis — 
Reference to Carthage, Dido, and ^neas in The Tempest — The Phoenicians and Tyrians 
alluded to by Bacon in the " New Atlantis" — Pericles laid at Tyre and Ephesus — Rosalind, 
the Great Diana, or Nature Goddess of the Ephesians, etc., etc. 



Problems of the Hidden Life. 

Being Essays on the Ethics of Spiritual Evolution. 

By pilgrim. 



Price IS. 

A Hancibook of Cartomancy, 

Fortune-Telling, and Occult Divination. 

Founded on the Traditions of Magical Seership and 
ON THE Doctrines of Superior Influence. 

With the Addition of Cagliostro's Mystic Alphabet of 

the Magi and the Revolutions of the 

Golden Wheel. 

By grand orient. 

Sapiens doininahitiir astris. 



About 500//., Dejuy Svo, C/of/i, price \^s. 

Marriage and Kinship among 
Primitive Peoples. 

A Study of Sexual Morality. 

By C. STAN I land WAKE, 

author of "serpent worship," etc. 

Contents : — Preface. Introduction — Sexual Morality. Chapter I. Primeval Man. 
II. Suppo.sed Promiscuity. III. Primitive Law of Marriage. IV. Group Marriage. V. 
Polyandry. VI. Polygyny. VII. Monandry. VIII. The Rule of Descent. IX. Kin- 
ship through Females. X. Kinship through Males. XL Marriage by Capture. XII. 
Monogamy. 



Demy Zvo^ pp. 315, Cloth, \os. 6d, 

Lives of 

Alchemy stical Philosophers. 

Based on Materials Collected in 18 15, and Supplemented 

BY Recent Researches. 

With a Philosophical Demonstration of the True Principles of 
THE Magnum Opus, or Great Work of Alchemical Re-Cox- 

STRUCTION, AND SOME ACCOUNT OF THE SPIRITUAL CHEMISTRY. 

By ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE. 

To WHICH IS ADDED A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF AlCHEMY AND 

Hermetic Philosophy. 

Lives of the Alchemists : — Geber— Rhasis — Alfarabi — Avicenna — Morien — Albertus 
Magnus — Thomas Aquinas — Roger Bacon — Alain of Lisle — Raymond Lully — Arnold De 
Villanova — Jean De Meung — The Monk Ferarius — Pope John XXII. — Nicholas Flamel — 
Peter Bono — Johannes De Rupecissa — Basil Valentine — Isaac of Holland — Bernard 
Trevisan — John Fontaine — Thomas Norton — Thomas Dalton — Sir George Ripley — Picus 
De Mirandola — Paracelsus — Denis Zachaire — Berigard of Pisa — Thomas Charnock — 
Giovanni Braccesco — Leonardi Fioravanti — John Dee — Henry Khunrath — Michael Maier — 
Jacob Bohme — J. B. Van Helmoiit — Butler — jean D'Espagnet — Alexander Sethon — 
Michael Sendivogius — Gustenhover — Busardier — Anonymous Adept — Albert Belin — 
Eirenaeus Philalethes — Pierre Jean Fabre — John Frederick Helvetius — Guiseppe Francesco 
Borri — John Heydon — Lascaris — Delisle — John Hermann Obereit — Travels, Adventures, 
and Imprisonments of Joseph Balsamo. 



2 Vols. Demy Zvo, pp. 791, ClotJi, price 2is. 

The White King ; 

Or, Charles the First, 

AND THE 

Men and Women, Life and Manners, Literature and Art 
OF England in the First Half of the 17TH Century. 

By W. H. DAVENPORT ADAMS. 

Contents of Vol. I.:— Personal History of Charles I.— Some of the Royal Children : 
Princess Elizabeth, Duke of Gloucester, Princess Mary, and Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans 
—The Court of Charles I. : Philip, Earl of Pembroke, The Countess of Carlisle, Sir 
Kenelm Digby — A King's Favourite : George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham — Notes — 
A Moderate Statesman : Lucius Cary, Lord Falkland — An Absolute Statesman : The 
Earl of Strafford— A Philosopher of the Reign of Charles I. : Edward, Lord Herbert of 
Cherbury— Glimpses of Life and Manners : The Strafford Letters— Appendix— Notes and 
Corrections — Index to Vol. I. Contents of Vol. II. : — Three Noble Ladies : Margaret, 
Duchess of Newcastle, Lady Anne Fanshawe, Mrs Hutchinson— The Arts in England 
during the Reign of Charles I. : i. Music; 2. The Drama; 3. Painting and Architecture- 
Literature in the Reign of Charles I. : i. The Courtly Poets ; 2. The Serious Poets — Men 
of Letters in the Reign of Charles I.— Appendix— Notes and Corrections— Index to Vol. II. 



Second Edition. Crotvn %vo, Cloth^ price 6j. 

Dreams and Dream-Stories. 

By anna bonus KINGSFORD, 

m.d. of paris; president of the hermetic society; author of 
"the perfect way in diet," etc., etc. ; and part author 

OF "the perfect WAY; OR, THE FINDING OF CHRIST." 

Edited by Edward Maitland. 



Demy Zvo^ about 500//., 2>s. 6d. 

Christian Science Healing, 

Its Principles and Practice, with full Explanations 

for Home Students. 

By FRANCES LORD, 

co-translator OF FROBEL's "mother's SONGS, GAMES AND STORIES." 

Contents: — The Twelve Lectures which usually constitute "A Course of Instruction in 
Christian Science" — A Simple Plan for Treatment (also arranged for use during six days) 
— General Directions on Healing — The Healer's Self-Training — Teaching — Books — Ought 
Christian Science Work ever to be paid for? — Home-Healing (Character and Conduct) — 
Circumstances — Children and Education — A simple Account of the Doctrine of Karma or 
Re-incarnation — A short Abstract of the Bhagavad Gita. 



Demy %vo^ pp. xi. mid 272, Cloth., 'js. 6d. 

Gilds, 

Their Origin, Constitution, Objects, and Later 

History. 

By THE Late CORNELIUS WALFORD, F.LA., F.S.S., 
F.R.H.S., Barrister- AT- Law. 

Contains a Geographical Survey of the Gilds of Berks, Cambridge, Derby, Devon, 
Gloucester, Hants, Hereford, Kent, Lancashire, Lincoln, IMiddlesex, Norfolk, Northum- 
berland, Oxford, Salop, Somerset, Warwick, Yorks. 



Cro7vn 'ivo, Cloth ^ ^s. 

The Influence of the Stars. 

A Treatise on Astrology, Chiromancy, and 

Physiognomy. 

By ROSA BAUGHAN. 

to which is added a treatise on the astrological 
Significance of Moles on the Human Body. 

Illustrated with a Facsimile of the Mystical Wheel of 

Pythagoras. 



REDWAY'S ESOTERIC SERIES. VOL I. 

Small ^t^o^ White Cloth, \os. 6d. 

The Magical Writings of 
Thomas Vaughan. 

{EUGENIUS PHILALETHES.) 

A Verbatim Reprint of his First Four Treatises : 

Anthroposophia Theomagica, Anima Magica 

Abscondita, Magia Adamica, The 

True Ccelum Terr^. 

With the Latin Passages Translated into English, and with a 

Biographical Preface and Essay on the Esoteric 

Literature of Western ChristendOxM. 

By ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE. 



Crown 4^0, Cloth^ Leather Back, Gilt Top, 2$s. 
THE ORIGINAL WORK ON PRACTICAL MAGIC. 

The Key of Solomon the King. 

{CLAVICULA SALOMONIS) 

Now FIRST Translated and Edited from Ancient MSS. 

IN THE British Museum, 

By S. LIDDELL MACGREGOR MATHERS. 

AUTHOR OF "THE KABBALAH UNVEILED," "THE TAROT," ETC. 

This celebrated Ancient Magical work, the foundation and fountain head of 
much of the Ceremonial :\Iagic of the Mediaeval Occultists, has never before 
been printed in English, nor yet, in its present form, in any other langtiage, 
but has remained buried and inaccessible to the general public for centuries. 
It is true that in the seventeenth century, a very curtailed and incomplete 
copy was printed in France, but that was far from being a reliable reproduc- 
tion, owing to the paucity of the matter therein contained, the erroneous 
drawing of the Fentacles and Talismans, and the difficulty experienced at 
that time in obtaining reliable MSS. wherewith to collate it. There is a 
small work published in Italy bearing the title of the "Clavicola dl Salomone 
Ridotta," but it is a very different book to this, and is little better than a 
collection of superstitious charms and receipts of Black Magic, besides bearing 
a suspicious resemblance both to the " Grimorium Verum," and the "Grim- 

oire of Honorius." , , ^, . . • •■ ..t- 

Among other authors both Eliphas L6vi and Christian mention the Key 
of Solomon " as a work of high authority, and the former especially refers to 

it repeatedly. , , /- ^ r- 

The Key of Solomon gives full, clear, and concise instructions for latis- 
manic and Ceremonial Magic, as zuell as for perfortning various Evocations ; 
and it is therefore invaluable to any student who zvishes to make himself 
acqua inted with the practical part of Occultism . 

Besides Seals, Sigils, and Magical Diagrams, nearly 50 Fentacles or Talis- 
mans are given in the Plates. 



LONDON: GEORGE RED WAY. 



1 5 York Street, Covent Gar den, 
London, December 1888. 



Mr Redway's Publications 



Recent Works 



Croivn 2)V0, pp. viii. and 446, Cloth extra^ 'js. 6d. 

The Real History of the 
Rosicrucians. 



Founded on their Own Manifestoes, and on Facts 
AND Documents Collected from the Writ- 
ings of Initiated Brethren. 

By ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE. 
With Illustrations. 

Contents: — Mystical Philosophy_ in Germany — The Universal Reformation— Fan- a 
Fraternitatis — Confession of Rosicrucian Fraternitj' — Marriage of Christian Rosencreutz — 
Rosicrucianism, Alchemy, and Magic — The Case of Johann Valentin Andreas— Progress of 
Rosicrucianism in Germany — Rosicrucian Apologists: Michael Maier, Robert Fludd, 
Thomas Vaughan, John Heydon — Rosicrucianism in France— Rosicrucians and Freemasons 
— Modern Rosicrucian Societies, &c. 

"We desire to speak of Mr Waite's work with the greatest respect on the 
points of honesty, impartiaUty, and sound scholarship. Mr Waite has given, 
for the first time, the documents with which Rosicrucianism has been con- 
nected in extenso. " — Literary World. 

"There is something mysterious and fascinating about the history of the 
Virgin Fraternity of the Rose." — Saturday Review. 

"A curious and interesting story of the doings of a mysterious association 
in times when people were more ready to believe in supernatural phenomena 
than the highly-educated, matter-of-fact people of to-day." — Morning Post. 

"... The work not only of a refined scholar, but of A man who knows 
WHAT HE IS writing ABOUT, and that is a great deal more than can be 
said for other books on the same topic. . . . Much that he has to tell us 
has the double merit of being not only true, but n^-w.^^John Bull. 

" Mr Waite's book on ' Rosicrucianism ' is a perfect contrast to the one 
which we noticed a month or two back. The latter is a farrago of ill-digested 
learning and groundless fancies, while the former is, at all events, an honest 
attempt to discover the truth about the Society of the Rosy Cross. . . . The 
study of ' Occultism ' is so popular just now that all books bearing on such 
topics are eagerly read ; and it is a comfort to find one writer who is not 
ashamed to confess his ignorance after telling us all he can discover." — West- 
7ninster Review. 

"Mr Waite is A great authority on esoteric science and its literature. 
Those who have read his extremely interesting work upon the writings of 
Eliphas Levi, the modern magician, will expect in his ' History of the 
Rosicrucians ' a treatise of more than ephemeral importance, and they will 
not be disappointed. . , ." — Morning Post. 

" Some of the most interesting chapters in the book are devoted to an 
account of the four great apologists for Rosicrucianism : Robert Fludd, 
Michael Maier, Thomas Vaughan, and John Heydon. Each of these 



chapters contains much curious matter, very metaphysical and very transcen- 
dental, but worth being studied by those who appreciate the influence which 
the many forms of occultism have exercised upon civilisation." — St James's 
Gazette. 

" To many readers the most fascinating pages in ' The Real History of the 
Rosicrucians ' will be those in which the author reprints Foxcroft's 1690 
translation of The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosencreittz, which had 
originally appeared in German in 1616. This strange romance is full 
OF WONDERFUL THINGS." — Saturday Review. 

"We would recommend Mr Waite's very painstaking volume to all who 
may be desirous to get to the back of the Rosicrucian mystery. ... So 
much nonsense has been talked and written about this imaginary order that 
it is quite refreshing to find a writer competent and willing to reduce ^the 
legend to its true proportions, and show how and when it had its origin." — 
Kno7vledge, 

" We have rarely seen a work of this description that was so free from all 
attempts at the distortion of facts to dovetail with a preconceived .... His 
style is perspicuous. . . . The most interesting portions of the book are those 
where the author is wilUng to speak himself. ... To those students of 
occultism, whose palates, undebauched by the intellectual hashish of the 
rhapsodies of mysticism and the jargon of the Kabala, can still appreciate a 
plain historical statement of facts, we gladly commend the \iooV.''— Nature. 

" ' The Real History of the Rosicrucians ' is a very learned book that will 
be read with deep interest by every one who has the slightest knowledge of 
the subject. " — Cou7't Journal. 

"Mr Waite's painstaking and well written book is one to be 
THANKFUL FOR. . . . The subjcct has too long (and never more than at the 
present) been the property of pseudo-learned mystery-mongers. . . . But 
scant justice can be done to a book like Mr Waite's in a short notice such 
as this, and therefore all that remains possible is to draw the attention of 
all interested in such literature to the careful chapters on the English mystics 
— Fludd, Vaughan, and Heydon— and to emphasise the estimate with which 
we commenced." — Majichester Examiner. 

"There was need of a clear and reliable book on the subject. This need 
Mr Waite has supplied. He is a cultured writer, and has mastered the 
entire literature of his subject, the most of which is in the German language. 
His 'Real History' cannot fail to interest any curious reader. . . . The 
author is not a Freemason, and speaks slightingly of our fraternity ; but he 
has undoubtedly produced the most reliable book which has yet appeared 
in the English language on Rosicrucianism, and it will deservedly attract 
the attention of all scholars and curious readers who are interested in the 
subject." — Keystone (New York). 

" Mr Waite has done an excellent service in reprinting in this handsome 
volume translations of the chief documents bearing on the secrets of the Rosy 
Cross." — Literary f^^rA/ (Boston). 

" Mr Waite is not a trader upon the ignorance and curiosity of readers. 
... His own book is simply the result of conscientious researches, whereby 
he succeeded in discovering several unknown tracts and manuscripts in the 
library of the British Museum ; and these, with other important and avail- 
able facts and documents, ... he now publishes, summarised or in extenso, 
according to their value, and thus offers for the first time in the literature of 
the subject, the Rosicrucians represented by themselves."— iV/z/a- 
delphia Press. 

B 



3 vols. Crown %vo, Cloth, 6s. per vol,, sold separately. 

Dreamland and Ghostland ; 

An Original Collection of Tales and Warnings 
from the Borderland of Substance and Shadow. 

Embracing Remarkable Dreams, Presentiments, and Coin- 
cidences, Records of Singular Personal Experience 
BY VARIOUS Writers, Startling Stories from Individual 
AND P'amily History, Mysterious Hints from the Lips 
OF Living Narrators, and Psychological Studies, 
Grave and Gay. 

" It is a remarkable fact that men and women do like ghost stories. They 
enjoy being thrilled, and many of them read with avidity tales which deal 
with things out of the ordinary physical ken. In THESE three volumes 

THEY may sup FULL OF THESE DELIGHTS." — Scotsman. 

"There is plenty of amusing reading of this sort to be found in these 
volumes, both for believers and disbelievers in the supernatural." — Court 
Journal. 

" Volumes which will test the credulity of the reader to the utmost, and 
the commencement of one of the stories might very well have served for the 
motto for the whole collection : ' It is almost useless to tell you the story, 
because I know you will not believe it.' We do not say for a moment that 
we disbelieve all the stories told here." — Court Circnlar. 

" The psychological student would be wise to exercise a certain amount of 
caution. The general reader who likes ghost-stories and dream-stories for 
their own sake, in the straightforward old fashion, will find plenty of enter- 
tainment in these three volumes, and, thanks to the variety of sources from 
which the contents are drawn, no sort of monotony. " — Graphic. 

"The great novelty of the work is that the author has so arranged and 
trimmed the chain of narratives as to make them read like a three volume 
novel. ... In truth, it is a novel in which the characters tell their own 
stories in their own way, and in their own language. "• — C/^r/j'/zizw Union. 
" Should be specially relished these winter nights." — The World. 
" Stories of the weird and eerie complexion which so many like to cultivate 
of a winter's night." — Globe. 

"There is nothing that is in any way unhealthy in character. Those, 
therefore, who have a taste for the mysterious and the curious will find in 
' Dreamland and Ghostland ' A real treat. The narratives are at once 
both grave and gay, with touches of strangeness as to miraculous incidents 
and supernatural occurrences. But from first to last there is a rationalism as 
well as a piquancy in the records that make them instructive reading. Indeed, 
we believe that there is not a better work of its kind, so varied, so 
enchanting, and so well edited ; or one that may be read with such profit." 
— Christian Union. 



Large Crozvn 8vo, the Cover emblazoned and floriated 7vith Stars and 
Serpents and Sunflowers, and the Arms of France and of Navarre. 

Gilt top, \os. 6d. 

The Fortunate Lovers. 

Twenty-seven Novels of the Queen of Navarre. 

Translated From the Original French by 
ARTHUR MACHEN. 

Edited and selected from the " Heptameron," with 

Notes, Pedigrees, and an Introduction, by 

A. MARY F. ROBINSON. 

With Original Etching by G. P. Jacomb Hood. 

" After Boccaccio's, these stories are perhaps the best of their kind."— 

Scotsman. 

" Miss Robinson's notes, and more especially her ably written introduction, 
which is practically a biography of Margaret of Angouleme, will enable 
readers to appreciate the 'personalities' in the stories more keenly than 
would otherwise be possible." — Scotsmait. 

"These tales of old-world gallantry cruelly depict certain phases of the 
life of an age as brilliant as it was corrupt, and must ever prove attractive to 
the antiquarian and the scholar. Mr Machen well preserves the incisive and 
quaint tone of the original text." — Morning Post. 

"A REALLY charming WORK OF ART AND OF LITERATURE."— ^///^W^W?/^. 

"Super-realistic as the love-stories now and then are, according to our 
notions of modesty, they have, one and all, a wholesome moral, and go far 
to throw light on an interesting period in the history of France. Handsomely 
bound and 'got up,' and furnished with a charming etching by Mr Jacomb 
Hood as frontispiece, the volume may well be recommended to all readers, 
and particularly to all students of history." — Pall Mall Gazette. 

"The ' Heptameron ' is itself, and independent of externals, an exceedingly 
pretty book, ... a book of interesting and rather puzzling authorship, and 
lastly, one which strikes the key-note of a certain time better almost than any 
other single work." — Athemeum. 

"No reader can resist the charm of these old-world stories. . . . Miss 
Robinson has exercised a sound and judicious discretion . . . without sacri- 
ficing too much of the large utterance and the rich aroma of the originals."— 
Daily News. 

"The book may be recommended to all who wish to understand that 
singular mixture of piety and voluptuousness which distinguishes the French 
Renaissance." — AthencBtwi. 

" The book is not quite one for indiscriminate presentation, but it is exceed- 
ingly well done, and is beautifully printed and bound." — Glasgotv Herald. 

" We owe her [Miss Robinson] thanks for having put in a worthy form 



before a new public a w ork to a great extent forgotten, and most assuredly 
not deserving forgetfulness." — Athenaiim. 

"Nothing can be better than the introductory chapter, and the notes and 
genealogical tables show that care for minute accuracy which is the fashion 
of the present day, and a very good fashion too." — Westminster Review. 

" A book that people who like to saunter along the by-paths of history 
will revel in. As, at the present time, there are thousands of people who 
only care to read the gossip and scandal in 'society journals,' so there are 
readers of history who chiefly delight in the gossip and scandal of bygone 
days. From such people ' The Fortunate Lovers ' is certain to meet with a 
hearty welcome, while even the more serious students of history will ri>e 
from its perusal with a fuller and better knowledge of the times it deals 
with." — Literary World. 

"Many of the stories are not particularly edifying. . . . Has a distinct 
value as a contribution to historical literature." — Court Circtdar. 



Crown Sz'^, pp. viii. and 260, Cloth gilt, 6s. 

Charles Dickens and the 



Stage. 



A Record of his Connection with the Drama as 

Playwright and Critic. 

By T. EDGAR PEMBERTON. 

With New Portraits, in Character, of Miss Jennie Lee, 
Mr Irving, and Mr Toole. 

Contents : — The Stage in his Novels — Dickens as a Dramatist — Dickens as an Actor — 
Adaptations and Impersonations — The Stage in his Speeches — The Stage in his Letter^ — 
Dickens as a Dramatic Critic. 

"The book is readable, as anything about Dickens is sure to be."— 
Scots f nan. 

"A charming v.'ORK. Mr Pemberton has spared no pains to look up all 
sorts of details, and has added a full and excellent index." — Birmingliam 

Post. 

" He has done his work so completely that he has left little or nothing for 
anyone who should desire to follow in his steps." — Literary World. 

" Brimful of anecdote and reminiscences of a generation now passing 
away, the book is stimulating as well as useful." — Publisher' s Circular. 

" An example of book-making that will not be viewed with disfavour by 
lovers of Dickens. . . . The book shows diligent research in many 
directions. " — Saturday Review. 



Croivn Zvo, pp. xiv. and 360, Cloth, Js. 6it. 

Posthumous Humanity ; 

A Study of Phantoms. 

By ADOLPHE D'ASSIER, 
member of the bordeaux academy of science. 

Translated and Annotated by Henry S. Olcott, President 
OF the Theosophical Society. 

Contents : — Facts Establishing the Existence of the Posthumous Personality in Man- 
Its V^arious Modes of Manifestation — Facts Establishing the Existence of a Second 
Personality in the Living Man— Its Various Modes of Manifestation — Facts Establishing- 
the Existence of the Personality in Animals, and concerning a Posthumous Animalitj'— 
Fluidic Form of Vegetables— Fluidic Form of Gross Bodies— Character of the Posthumous 
Being — Its Physical Constitution — Its Aversion to Light — Its Reservoir of Living Force — 
Its Ballistic—The Nervous Fluid— Electric Animals— Electric Persons — Electric Plants — 
The Mesmeric Ether and the Personality which it Engenders — The Somnambule — The 
Sleep-talker — The Seer— The Turning-table — The Talking-table— The Medium— IMiracles 
of the Ecstatics — Prodigy of Magic— The Incubus — The Obsessing Spirit— Causes of the 
Rarity of the Living Phantom— Causes of the Rarity of the Trans-sepulchral Phantom- 
Resemblance of the Spiritistic Phenomena to the Phenomena of the Posthumous Order^ 
Lycanthropy — Glance at the Fauna of the Shades — Their Pre-occupations — How thej- 
Prolong their Existence — The Posthumous Vampire. 

Truth says : — "If you care for Gi-iosT stories, duly accredited, ex- 
cellently told, and scientifically explained, you should read the 
translation by Colonel Olcott of M. Adolphe d'Assier's 'Posthumous 
Humanity,' a study of phantoms. There is no dogmatism so dogged and 
offensive as that of the professed sceptic — of the scientific sceptic especially — 
who ex vi termini ought to keep the doors of his mind hospitably open ; and 
it is refreshing, therefore, to find such scientists as Wallace, Crookes, and M. 
d'Assier, who is a Positivist, in the ranks of the Psychical Research host. 
For my own part, though I have attended the seance of a celebrated London 
medium, and there convinced myself beyond all doubt of his imposture, I no 
more think that the detection of a medium fraud disposes of the whole 
question of ghosts, &c., than that the detection of an atheist priest disposes 
of the whole question of Christianity. Whatever view you take of this con- 
troversy, however, I can promise you that you will find the book interesting 
at least if not convincing. " 

"This collection of hopeless trash . . . Col. Olcott's notes are beneath 
contempt ... a more piteous literary exhibition than the entire volume has 
rarely come under our notice." — Knowledge [?J. 

" An interesting and suggestive volume." — Nezv York Tribune. 

"The book is written with evident sincerity." — Litei'ary World. 

" There is no end to the wonderful stories in this book." — Court Circular. 

"The book may be recommended to the attention of the marines." 

Scotsman. 

" A book which will be found very fascinating by all except those person^ 



who have neither interest nor belief for anything but what they can under- 
stand . ' ' — Manchester Exatimier. 

" The subject is treated brilliantly, entertainingly, and scientifi- 
cally." — New York Com. Advertiser, 

" Though this is a good deal to say, Mr George Red way has hardly 
published a more curious book." — Glasgow Herald. 

*'The ghostly will find much comfort in the book." — Saturday Review, 

*' The book has an interest as evidence of that study of the occult which is 
again becoming in a certain degree fashionable." — Manchester Guardian. 



Demy %vo, pp. xiv. and 307, Cloth, 'js. 6d. 

The Life, Times, and Writings 
of Thomas Cranmer, D.D., 

The First Reforming Archbishop of Canterbury. 

. By CHARLES HASTINGS COLLETTE. 
Dedicated to Edward White, 93RD Archbishop of Canterbury. 

Contents : — Cranmer at the University of Cambridge — Cranmer's Participation in the 
Proceedings of the Divorce of Henry VIII. from Catherine — His Second Marriage as a 
Priest — His Oaths on Consecration as an Archbishop — The Fate of Anne Boleyn : Henry's 
Marriages with Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves. Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr, 
and Cranmer's alleged Participation in these Acts — Henry VIII.'s Political and Social 
Reforms under Cranmer's alleged Guidance — Persecutions, and Cranmer's alleged Par- 
ticipation in them — The Progress of the Reformation under Henry VIII. and Edward VL 
— Cranmer's Fall and Martyrdom — His alleged Recantations — His Writings — John Fox, 
the Martyrologist — The Beatification of Bishop Fisher, the Chancellor More, and others, 
as Martyrs. 



"Mr Collette brings to his task both breadth and depth of knowledge, 
and a desire to be scrupulously free from prejudice." — Globe. " He is 
animated by an anti-Papal spirit. . . . nevertheless, his book is readable." 
— Scotsman. "No future student can afford to neglect his work." — British 
and Colonial Printer. "His book deserves to be read, and his pleadings 
should be well considered." — Anglican Church Alagazine. " He has stated 
HIS evidence with a fulness and fairness beyond CAVIL." — Daily 
News. " Mr Collette avoids bitterness in his defence, and does not scruple 
to blame Cranmer when he thinks blame is deserved." — Glasgow Herald. 
"On the whole, we think that we have in this book a just and impartial 
character of Cranmer." — Record. "This book is a valuable contribution to 
the literature concerning a period which to the lover of religious liberty is 
of the deepest interest. ... it is a work of research of learning, of sound 
and generally of impartial judgment," — Rock. 



Post 8vo, -cuitJi Plates^ pp. viii. and 359, Cloth gilt, 10s. 6d. 
KABBALA DENUDATA, 

The Kabbalah Unveiled. 

Containing the Following Books of the Zohar : — 

1. The Book of Concealed Mystery. 

2. The Greater Holy Assembly. 

3. The Lesser Holy Assembly. 

Translated into English from the Latin Version of 

Knorr Von Rosenroth, and Collated with the 

Original Chaldee and Hebrew Text, 

By S. L. MACGREGOR MATHERS. 



The Bible, which has been probably more misconstrued than any other 
book ever written, contains numberless obscure and mysterious passages 
which are utterly unintelligible without some key wherewith to unlock their 
meaning. That key is given in the Kabbala. 

"A translation which leaves nothing to be desired." — Saturday 
Review. 

*' Mr Mathers has done his work with critical closeness and care, and has 
presented us with a book which will probably be welcomed by many students. 
In printing and binding the volume is all that could be desired, and the 
diagrams are very carefully drawn, and are calculated to be very useful to all 
who are interested in the subject." — Nonconfoi'inist. 

"We may add that it is worthy of perusal by all who, as students of 
psychology, care to trace the struggles of the human mind, and to note its 
passage from animalism through mysticism to the clearness of logical light." 
— Knozoledge. 

" Mr Mathers is certainly a great Kabbalist, if not the greatest of our 
time." — AtheiKTuni. 

The Kabbalah is described by Dr Ginsburg as " a system of religious 
philosophy, or more properly of theosophy, which has not only exercised for 
hundreds of years an extraordinary influence on the mental development of 
so shrewd a people as the Jews, but has captivated the minds of some of the 
greatest thinkers in Christendom in the 1 6th and 17th centuries." He adds 
that "it claims the greatest attention of both the philosopher 

AND theologian." 



Crotvn ^to, wrapper, \s. 
JOURNAL OF THE WAGNER SOCIETY. 

The Meister. 

Edited by W. ASHTON ELLIS. 

Contains translations from the literary works of Richard Wagner; extracts from 
letters that have passed between the Poet-Composer and other men who have left their 
mark upon the art life of the day ; original articles and essays explanatory of the inner 
meaning of Wagners dramas; articles upon kindred topics of aesthetics, metaphysics, or 
social questions— in this category, reference to the works of Liszt and Schopenhauer will 
naturally take a prominent position; notes upon the course of events in Europe and 
America bearing upon Wagner's dramas, &c., &c. 



In Crown Svo, pp. 2S6, Cloth extra, 5^. 

A SouPs Comedy. 

By ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE. 

A tragedy in its ancient and legitimate sense, depicts the triumph of destiny 
over man; the comedy, or story with a happy ending, represents the triumph 
of man over destiny. It is in this sense that the spiritual history of Jasper 
Cartwright is called a Soul's Comedy. 

The Literary World says : — "Mr Waite is possessed of genuine inspira- 
tion that lifts his work above the mass of wares sent forth every year to the 
world as poetry. The presence of an over subtle mysticism, and even of an 
occasional tinge of almost Rosicrucian darkness, will not prevent lovers of 
poetry from enjoying the many passages in his play as remarkable for power 
of thought as for beauty of expression. Mr Waite's sympathy with Nature, 
and his descriptive powers are likewise of a high order." 

The Graphic says : — " Some time has elapsed since we paid a sincere tri- 
bute to the many beauties of ' Israfel,' and we are not sorry to meet with 
another work from the same pen in 'A Soul's Comedy.' .... It may suffice 
to say in general that the poem, cast in a quasi-dramatic form, is a very noble 
one, though painful to a degree. The main idea of Jasper's origin is so 
horrible in its pathetic tragedy as to raise reminiscences of Ford's masterpiece, 
and the after-episode of Mary Blake is little less distressing ; but out of these 
seemingly unpromising materials Mr Waite has evolved a tale of human sor- 
row, struggle, and final triumph, such as must appeal to the heart of every 
true man. . . . The poetry rises at times to unusual heights, as, for 
instance, in the description of Mary's death (p. 31), the benediction in the 
monastery chapel, Austin Blake's prologue to the third part, or, best of all, 

the scene where Jasper resigns Gertrude to his friend Jasper's prose 

fairy tale is delightful, though not, it may be, suited to all comprehensions. 
. . . Taken altogether, this is a true and worthy poem." 



^to, pp. 27i Cloth extra, 1$. 6d. The woodcuts coloiired by hand, 55. 
Issue limited to 400 copies plain and 60 coloured. 

The Dance of Death, 

In Painting and in Print, 

By T. TYNDALL WILDRIDGE. 

With Woodcuts. 

Probably few subjects have excited more conjecture or given rise to more 
mistakes than the " Dance of Death." The earliest painting of the Dance is 
said to be that at Basel in 143 1. The first printed edition was published about 
1485. The blocks illustrating Mr Wildridge's work are a series found in a 
northern printing office many years ago. They seem to be of considerable 
age, and are somewhat close copies of Holbein's designs so far as they go, 
but in which of the hundred editions they originally appeared has not to the 
present been ascertained. 



Fcap. Svo, pp. 40, Cloth limp, \s. 6d. 

Light on the Path. 

A Treatise written for the Personal Use of Those who 

ARE Ignorant of the Eastern Wisdom, and who 

Desire to Enter within its Influence. 

Written down bv^ M. C, 
fellow of the theosophical society. 

" So far as we can gather from the mystic language in which it is couched, 
' Light on the Path ' is intended to guide the footsteps of those who have dis- 
carded the forms of religion while retaining the moral principle to its fullest 
extent. It is in harmony with much that was said by Socrates and Plato, 
although the author does not use the phraseology of those philosophers, but 
rather the language of Buddhism, easily understood by esoteric Buddhists, 
but difficult to grasp by those without the pale. ' Light on the Path ' may, we 
think, be said to be the only attempt in this language and in this 
CENTURY to PUT PRACTICAL OCCULTISM INTO WORDS ; and it may be added, 
by way of further explanation, that the character of Gautama Buddha, as 
shown in Sir Edwin Arnolds' ' Light of Asia,' is the perfect type of the be- 
ing who has reached the threshold of Divinity by this road. That it has 
reached a third edition speaks favourably for this mtiltiim in parvo of the 
science of occultism ; and ' M. C may be expected to gather fresh laurels in 
future. " — Saturday Revietv. 



2)2?)io, pp. Co, Cloth gilt, \s, 6d.; %uith pack of ']% Tarot Cards, ^s. 
FORTUNE TELLING CARDS . 

The Tarot ; 

Its Occult Signification, Use in Fortune Telling, 
and Method of Play, &c. 

By S. L. MACGREGOR MATHERS. 



"The designs of the twenty-one trump cards are extremely singular ; in 
order to give some idea of the manner in which Mr Mather uses them in 
fortune -telling it is necessary to mention them in detail, together with the 
general significance which he attaches to each of them. The would-be carto- 
mancer may then draw his own particular conclusions, and he will find con- 
siderable latitude for framing them in accordance with his predilections. It 
should further be mentioned that each of the cards when reversed conveys 
a meaning the contrary of its primary signification. No. I is the Bateleur or 
Juggler. The Juggler symbolizes Will. 2. The High Priestess, or female 
Pope, represents Science, Wisdom, or Knowledge. 3. The Empress, is the 
symbol of Action or Initiative. 4. The Emperor, represents Realization or 
Development. 5. The Heirophant or Pope, is the symbol of Mercy and 
Beneficence. 6. The Lovers, signify Wise Disposition and Trials sur- 
mounted. 7. The Chariot, represents Triumph, Victory over Obstacles. 8. 
Themis or Justice, symbolizes Equilibrium and Justice. 9. The Hermit, 
denotes Prudence. 10. The Wheel of Fortune, represents Fortune, good or 
bad. II. Fortitude, symbolizes Power or Might. 12. The Hanged Man 
— a man suspended head downwards by one leg — means Devotion, Self- 
Sacrifice. 13. Death, signifies Transformation or Change, 14. Temper- 
ance, typifies Combination. 15. The Devil, is the image of Fate or Fatality. 
16. The Lightning-stnick Tower, called also Maison-Dieu, shows Ruin, Dis- 
ruption. 17. The Star, is the emblem of Hope. 18. The Moon, symbolizes 
Twilight, Deception and Error. 19. The Sun, signifies Earthly Happiness. 
20. The Last Judgment, means Renewal, Determination of a matter. 21. 
The Universe, represents Completion and Reward, o. The Foolish Man, 
signifies Expiating or Wavering. Separate meanings, with their respective 
converses, are also attached to each of the other cards in the pack, so that 
when they have been dealt out and arranged in any of the combinations 
recommended by the author for purposes of divination, THE INQUIRER HAS 

ONLY TO USE THIS LITTLE VOLUME AS A DICTIONARY IN ORDER TO READ 

HIS FATE." — Sattirday Reviezv. 



Third Edition, revised and enlarged. 
Crozvn SvOf etched Frontispiece and Woodcuts, pp. 324, Cloth gilt, "js. 6d. 

Magic, White and Black; 

Or, The Science of Finite and Infinite Life. 

Containing Practical Hints for Students of Occultism. 
By FRANZ HARTMANN, M.D. 

Contents : — The Ideal — The Real and the Unreal — Form — Life — Harmony — Illusion — 
Consciousness — Unconsciousness — Transformations — Creation — Light, &c. 

The Saturday Review says: — "In its closely-printed pages students of 
occultism will find hints, ' practical ' and otherwise, likely to be of great 
service to them in the pursuit of their studies and researches. ... A book 
which may properly have the title of Magic, for if the readers succeed in 
practically following its teaching, they will be able to perform the greatest of 
all magical feats, the spiritual regeneration of Man. Dr Hartmann's book 
has also gone into a third edition, and has developed from an insignificant 
pamphlet, ' written originally for the purpose of demonstrating to a few 
inexperienced inquirers that the study of the occult side of nature was not 
identical with the vile practices of sorcery,' into a compendious volume, com- 
prising, we are willing to believe, the entire philosophic system of 
OCCULTISM. There are abundant evidences that the science of theosophy 
has made vast strides in public estimation of late years, and that those 
desirous of experimenting in this particular, and in many respects fascinating, 
branch of ethics, have leaders whose teaching they can follow with satisfaction 
to themselves." 

The Scotsman says : — "Any one who studies the work so as to be able to 
understand it, may become as familiar with the hidden mysteries of nature as 
any occult philosopher ever was." 



Crown %vo, pp. 265, Cloth extra, 6s, 

Lotus : 

A Psychological Romance. 

By the Author of " A New Marguerite." 

"Mystical, peculiar, engaging . . . the book has originality . . . 
it is a graceful story of the sort which is said to make people — some people 
— think, and will be read with mixed feelings by most." — Athenccum. 

" A fierce and passionate book, which illustrates once more the hold that 
our subject has on the popular imagination. To be read." — Light. 



Crown ?>vo, pp. iv. and 2^6, Cloth {Cheap Edition), 6s. 

A Professor of Alchemy 

{DENIS Z AC H AIRE). 
By PERCY ROSS, 

AUTHOR OF "A COMEDY WITHOUT LAUGHTER." 

"A clever story. . . . The hero is an alchemist who actually succeeds in 
manufacturing pure gold." — Coiu't Journal. 

" Shadowy and dream-like." — Athenceuni. 

"An interesting and pathetic picture." — Literary World, 

"The story is utterly tragical, and is powerfully told." — Westminster 
Revieiv. 

' ' A vivid picture of those bad old times. " — Knoivledge. 

" Sure of a special circle of readers with congenial tastes." — 
Graphic. 

" This is a story of love — of deep, un(Jying, refining love — not without sug- 
gestions of Faust. The figure of Berengaria, his wife, is a noble and touch- 
ing one, and her purity and sweetness stand out in beautiful relief from the 
gloom of the alchemist's laboratory and the horrors of the terrible Inquisition 
into whose hands she falls. The romance of the crucible, however, is not all 
permeated by sulphurous vapours and tinged with tartarean smoke. There is 
often a highly dramatic element." — Glasgozo He7-ald. 



Fcap. 'S>vo, pp. 56, Cloth limp, \s. 

The Shakespeare Classical 
Dictionary ; 

Or, Mythological Allusions in the Plays of 
Shakespeare Explained. 

For the Use of Schools and Shakespeare Reading 

Societies. 

By H. M. SELBY. 

" A handy little work of reference for readers and students of Shakespeare." 
-School Board Chronicle. 

"The book presents a great deal of information in a very small compass." 
-School Newspaper. 



"Will be found extremely useful by non-classical students of Shakespeare, 
, . . and even to the classical student it will convey much useful information. " 
— Educational Times. 

" Will be greatly appreciated in the class-room." — Glasgozv Herald. 

"Carefully compiled from more authoritative books of reference." — Scots- 
man. 

"The unlearned reader is thus enabled to increase very greatly his enjoy- 
ment of Shakespeare." — Literary World. 

" We have tested the book by looking for several of the obscurest 
mythological names mentioned by Shakespeare ; in each case we found the 
name inserted and followed by a satisfactory explanation." — The ScJwolmaster. 



Demy Svo, pp. iv. and 299, Cloth gilt, 10s. 6d. 

Serpent Worship, 

And other Essays, with a Chapter on Totemism= 

By C. STANILAND WAKE. 

Contents:— Rivers of Life— Phallism in Ancient Religions— Origin of Serpent Worship— 
The Adamites — The Descendants of Cain — Sacred Prostitution— Marriage among Primitive 
Peoples— Marriage by Capture— Development of the "'Family" — The Social Position of 
Woman as affected by "Civilization" — Spiritism and Modern Spiritualism — Totems and 
Totemism — Man and the Ape. 

*' The most important of the thirteen essays discusses the origin of Serpent 
Worship. Like other papers which accompany it, it discusses its subject from 
a wide knowledge of the literature of earlv religions and the allied themes of 
anthropology and primitive marriage. . . . The remaining essays are written 

WITH MUCH LEARNING AND IN A CAREFUL SPIRIT OF INQUIRY, happily 

free from the crude mysticism with which the discussion of these subjects has 
often been mixed up. They may be recommended to the attention of all 
interested in anthropology and the history of religion as interesting labours 
in this field of research and speculation." — Scotsman, October 31. 

" So obscure and complex are these subjects that any contribution, how- 
ever slight, to their elucidation, may be welcomed. Mr Wake's criticism of 
the systems of others is frequently acute. . . . Mr Wake is opposed to those 
who hold that kinship through females and the matriarchate preceded paternal 
kinship and the patriarchal family, and who connect the phenomena of 
exogamy and of totemism with the matriarchal stage of society, and with 
belief in a definite kinship of man with the remainder of the sensible universe. 
He looks upon female kinship as having existed concurrently with a quasi- 
patriarchal system." — Athenceum . 

"Able, and REMARKAHLY INTERESTING." — Glasgo%v Herald. - 



Wrapper, price is. 

Journal of the Bacon Society. 

Published Periodically. 
Vol. I. [Parts i. tovi.),pp. x. and 2'j'&, 8vo, cloth, ds. 

The main objects for which this Society has been established are : — {a) To 
study the works of Francis Baccn, as Philosopher, Lawyer, Statesman, and 
Poet, also his character, genius, and life, his influence on his own and suc- 
ceeding times, and the tendencies and results of his writings ; {h) To 
investigate Bacon's supposed authorship of certain works unacknowledged by 
him, including the Shakespearian dramas and poems. 



Fcap. 8vo, pp. viii. and 120, Cloth, y. 6d. 

A Wayfarer's Wallet. 

Dominus Redivivus. 

By henry G. HEWLETT, 

AUTHOR OF "a SHEAF OF VERSES." 

"The title * Dominus Redivivus ' indicates the aim of the poem. . . . The 
author wishes to tell the stoiy of the actual Jesus, and to contrast his teaching 
with that of the Churches professing to be Christian. . . . He belongs to 
the great Church to be, which will some day include not only the real Jesus 
as one of its worshippers, but Gautama and Socrates, and Plato and ' every 
holy name which blessed the past.' The work of this Church is to break 
down caste, to help the poor, to sweeten all the life of man. This is 
sufficient, we trust, to guide some readers to a book interesting in itself, and 
probably destined to set many a wavering mind on a path at once definite 
and right in regard to Christianity." — The hiqtiirer. 

"A collection of verses on various subjects and in various styles. . . . 
Not one but is worth reading : all have the melodiousness and fluency of 
spontaneity, the ring of poetry. . . . ' Dominus Redivivus,' by far the 
largest poem in the book, is a plea for the Christianity of Christ, in which 
there is a wealth both of poetry and thought." — Liverpool Daily Post. 

" Mr Henry G. Hewlett's new volume of verse . . . has many fresh and 
attractive pieces, and not a dull one among its contents. . . . The ballads 
will prove most widely attractive. . . . The sonnets . . . show Mr 
Hewlett's power of pithy, forcible expression at its best. The volume, as a 
whole, will be read with pleasure from first to last by lovers of poetry. " — 
Scotsman. 



Crown 2>i'o, pp. viii. and 632, Cloih gilt, los. be'. 

In Praise of Ale; 

Or, Songs, Ballads, Epigrams, and Anecdotes 

relating to Beer, Malt, and Hops. 

With some curious particulars concerning Ale-wives 
AND Brewers, Drinking-Clubs and Customs. 

Collected and Arranged by W. T. MARCH ANT. 

Contents : — Introductory — History — Carols and Wassail Songs— Church Ales and 
Observances — Whitsun Ales— Political — Harvest Songs — General Songs — Barley and 
Malt — Hops — Scotch Ale Songs — Local and Dialect Songs — Trade Songs— Oxford Songs — 
Ale Wives — Brewers — Drinking Clubs and Customs— Royal and Noble Drinkers — Black 
Beer — Drinking Vessels — Warm Ale — Facts, Scraps, and Ana. 

"Mr Marchant has collected a vast amount of odd, amusing, and (to him 
that hath the sentiment of beer) suggestive and interesting matter. His 
volume (we refuse to call it a book) is A volume to have. If only as a 
manual of quotations, if only as a collection of songs, it is a volume to 
HAVE. We confess to having read in it, for the first time in our lives, the 
right and authentic text of ' A Cobbler there was ' and ' Why, Soldiers, 
why ; ' and to have remarked, as regards the first, that our ancestors were 
very easily amused, and, as regards the second, that it has a curious at?' de 
famille with the triolet. These are very far from being Mr Marchant's only 
finds; but that is all the more reason why we should linger upon them." — 
Saturday Review. 

"A kind of scrap-book, crowded with prose and verse which is always 
curious AND VERY OFTEN ENTERTAINING, and it may be read at random — 
beginning at the end, or in the middle, or at any page you like, and reading 
either back or forwards — almost as easily as the ' Varieties ' column in a 
popular weekly print." — Saturday Review. 

"While, on the one hand, the book is, as nearly as possible, a complete 
collection of lyrics written about the national beverage, ... it abounds, on 
the other hand, in particulars as to the place which ale has held in the 
celebration of popular holidays and customs. It discourses of barley-malt 
and hops, brewers, drinkers, drinking clubs, drinking vessels, and the like ; 
and, in fact, approaches the subject from all sides, bringing together, in the 
space of 600 pages, A host of curious and amusing details." — Globe^ 
April 9. 

"Mr Marchant is a staunch believer in the merits of good ale. In the 
course of his reading he has selected the materials for a Bacchanalian antho- 
logy which MAY ALWAYS BE READ WITH AMUSEMENT AND PLEASURE. His 

materials he has set in a framework of gossiping dissertation. Much curious 
information is supplied in the various chapters on carols and wassail songs, 
church ales and observances, Whitsun ales, harvest songs, drinking clubs and 
customs, and other similar matters. At snug country inns at which the 
traveller may be called upon to stop there should be, in case of a rainy hour 
in the day, or an empty smoke-room at night, a copy of a book which sings 
so loudly the praises of mine host and his wares." — A'otes and Queries, 



" The memory of John Barleycorn is in no danger of passing away for lack 
of a devoted prophet. The many songs, poems, and pieces of prose written 
In Praise of Ale form a fine garden for the anthologist to choose a bouquet 
from. . . . It is plainly AN ORIGINAL collection, made with diligence 
and good taste in selection. . . . Mr Marchant's anthology may be recom- 
mended to the curious as an interesting and carefully compiled collection 
of poetical and satirical pieces about beer in all its brews. " — Scotsman. 

" The author has gone to ancient and modern sources for his facts, and 
has not contented himself with merely recording them, but has woven them 
into a readable history with much skill and wit." — American Bookseller. 

"Although its chief aim is to be amusing, it is sometimes instructive as 
well. . . . His stories may at times be a little long, but they are never 
broad." — Glasgotv Herald. 

" What teetotallers would call A tippler's text-book . . . a collection 
of songs and ballads, epigrams and anecdotes, which may be called uniqiceJ'^ 
— Pall Mall Gazette. 

" Beer, however, in conjunction with mighty roast beef, according to Mr 
Marchant, has made England what it is, and accordingly he writes his book 
to show how the English have ever loved good ale, and how much better 
that is for them than cheap and necessarily inferior spirits or doctored wines. 
Be that as it may, we have here a collection of occasional verse — satires, 
epigrams, humorous narratives, trivial ditties, and ballads — VALUABLE AS 
illustrations of manners." — Literary World. 



Crown Sz'i?, //. xlii. aiid 302, cloth, ']s. 6d. 

Spirit Revealed. 

The Book for the Age. 

The Nature of the First Great Cause, and the Coming Christ 

or Messiah ; The Approaching End of the World, or 

the Consummation of the Age ; Life, Death, and 

Regeneration ; The Religious, Political, 

and Social Principles of the Future. 

A REVELATION OF THE LATTER DAYS, 

By WM. C. ELDON SERJEANT. 

This " revelation of the latter days, " by a New Dispensationist treats of 
" The nature of the First Great Cause and the Coming Christ or Messiah" ; 
" The Approaching End of the World or the Consummation of the Age " ; 
" Life, Death, and Regeneration"; " The Religious, Political, and Social 
Principles of the Future"; and proposes the formation of "an universal 
association for the establishment and support of the Divine rights to which 
all are entitled." 



(,6 pa\;es, lar:;-e Sw, Ctoih ^ilt, price 6s. 

Lectures on Diseases of the Eye. 

By CHARLES BELL TAYLOR, F.R.C.S. & M.D. Edin., 

fellow of the medical society of london ; late president of the 

parisian medical society ; consulting ophthalmic surgeon to 

the nottingham union hospital; consulting ophthalmic 

surgeon to the midland institution for the blind ; 

honorary surgeon to the nottingham and 

midland eye infirmary, etc., etc. 

Illustrated with Photographs and Numerous Woodcuts. 

Contents :— Lectures on Cataract— Squint— Glaucoma— Optico-Ciliary Neurotomy — 
Tlie Use and Abuse of Mydriatics— Eye Troubles in General Practice. 

" The descriptions of the diseases mentioned are well given, and may very 
advantageously be read by the general practitioner. " — Lancet. 

" To those who wish to perfect themselves in ophthalmic surgery, the book 
will be found a really valuable help." — Hospital Gazette. 

"A valuable course of Lectures calling for something more than passing 
notice, an opinion which all who read the discourses will heartily endorse." 
— Asclepiad. 



Crown ?iVo, pp. xii. atid 666, Cloth, los. 6d. 

Myths, Scenes, and Worthies 

of Somerset. 

By Mrs E. BOGER. 

Contents :— Bladud, King of Britain ; or, The Legend of Bath— Joseph of Arimathea 
and the Legend of Glastonbury— Watchet, The Legend of St Decuman— Porlock and St 
Dubritius— King Arthur in Somerset— St Keyna the Virgin, of Keynsham— Gildas 
Badonicus, called Gildas the Wise, also Gildas the Querulous— St Brithwald, Archbishop 
of Canterbury— King Ina in Somerset, Ina and Aldhelm— St Cougar and Congresbury— 
Hun, the Leader of the Sumorsaetas, at the Battle of Ellandune— King Alfred m Somerset, 
and the Legend of St Neot— St Athelm. Archbishop of Canterbury— Wulfhelm, Archbishop 
of Canterbury— The Landing of the Danes at Watchet— The 1 imes of St Dunstan; His 



Life and Legends — Muchelney Abbey — Ethelgar, Archbishop of Canterbury — Sigeric or 
Siricius, Archbishop of Canterbury — Elfeah, Elph^ge, or Alphege, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury — Ethelnoth, or Agelnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury — Montacute and the Legend of 
Waitham Cross — Porlock, and Harold son of Godwin — Glastonbury after the Conquest, 
Bishop Thurstan — William of Malmesbury, called also " Somersetanus" — The Philo- 
sophers of Somerset in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries — The Rose of Cannington ; 
Joan Clifford, commonly called "Fair Rosamond" — John de Courcy — St Ulric the 
Recluse, or St Wulfric the Hermit — Sir William de Briwere — Woodspring Priory, and the 
Murderers of Thomas a Becket — Richard of Ilchester, or Richard Tocklive or More — 
Halswell House, near Bridgewater — The Legend of the House of Tynte — Witham Priory 
and St Hugh of Avalon (in Burgundy) — William of Wrotham — Joceline Trotman, of Wells 
— Hugh Trotman, of Wells— Roger Bacon — Sir Henry Bracton, Lord Chief Justice in the 
Reign of Henry IIL — William Briwere (Briewere, Bruere, or Brewer) — Dunster Castle, 
Sir Reginald de Mohun, Lady Mohun — Fulke of Samford — Sir John Hautville and Sir 
John St Loe — Sir Simon de Montacute — The Evil Wedding, Chew Magna and Stanton 
Drew — Robert Burnel — Somerton, King John of France — Stoke-under-Ham, Sir 
Matthew Gournay — Bristol (St Mary Redcliffe), The Canyges ; Chatterton — Thomas de 
Beckyngton — The Legend of Sir Richard Whittington — The Legend of the Abbot of 
Muchelney — Sebastian Cabot — Taunton and its Story — Giles Lord Daubeney and the 
Cornish Rebellion, King Ina's Palace and South Petherton — John Hooper, The Marian 
Persecution — The Paulets, Pawlets, or Pouletts, of Hinton St George — Richard Edwardes 
— Lord Chief Justice Popham — The Last Days of Glastonbury — William Barlow and the 
Times of Edward VL — Robert Parsons, or Persons — Henry Cuff— Sir John Harrington — 
The Wadhams, Wadham College, Oxford ; Ilminster, Merrifield, Ilton — Samuel Daniel — 
Dr John Bull— Thomas Coryate, of Odcombe, in Somerset — John Pym — Sir Amias Preston 
— Admiral Blake — William Prynne— Sir Ralph, Lord Hopton — Ralph Cudworth— On 
Witches, Mrs Leakey, of Mynehead, Somerset — John Locke — Thomas Ken, D.D., some- 
time Bishop of Bath and Wells — Trent House, Charles IL and Colonel Wyndham — The 
Duke of Monmouth in Somerset — Prince George of Denmark and John Duddleston 
of Bristol — Beau Nash, with some Account of the Early History of the City of Bath — 
Wokey or Ockey Hole, near Wells— Captain St Loe — The State of the Church in the 
Eighteenth Century, Mrs Hannah and Mrs Patty More and Cheddar — Dr Thomas 
Young — Edward Hawkins, Provost of Oriel and Canon of Rochester — Charles Fuge 
Lowder — A Tale of Watchet, The Death of Jane Capes— Captain John Hanning Speke — 
Cheddar Cheese, West Pennard's Wedding Present to the Queen, 1839— In Memoriam, 
1811-1833. 

"Mrs Boger is to be praised for her enthusiasm and zeal. She is of 
Somerset, and she naturally thinks it the wonder of England, if not of the 
world," — Literary World. 

" Every addition to the local collections of the myths and legends of our 
country districts is to be welcomed when it is as carefully made as Mrs 
Boger's laboriously compiled work, which teems WITH QUAINT STORIES, 
SOME OF WHICH ARE EVEN BEAUTIFUL." — Westminster RevieziK 

"This is the kind of book, we imagine, in which Thomas Fuller would 
have expatiated with delight. Less topographical than his ' Worthies,' it 
does what that delectable book did not profess to do ; it gives not only an 
account of the illustrious natives, but the legends, traditions, historical 
episodes, and general memorahilia which pertain to one famous county. Mrs 
Boger's book ranges from Bladud, King of Britain, B.C. 900, to Arthur 
Ilallum, who died in 1833." — Notes and Qite?-ies. 

"Mrs Boger writes with such ability and enthusiasm. The work is one 
which will have an influence in limits far wider than the borders of Somerset, 

for FEW CAN READ IT WITHOUT PLEASURE, AND NONE WITHOUT PROFIT. 

... To read her book carefully is to master the hagiology of the county." — 
Morning- Post. 



STANDARD WORKS 



PUBLISHED BY 



GEORGE REDWAY. 



Crown 8vo, pp. 375, Cloth ^ 'js. dd. 

Theosophy, Religion, and 
Occult Science. 

By henry S. OLCOTT, 
president of the theosophical society. 

With Glossary of Eastern Woiios. 



Contents: — Theosophy or Materialism — Which? — The Theosophical Society and its 
Aims — The Common Foundation of all Religions — Thesophy : the Scientific Basis of 
Religion — Theosophy : its Friends and Enemies — The Occult Sciences — Spiritualism and 
I'heosophy — India : Past, Present, and Future — The Civilisation that India needs — The 
Spirit of the Zoroastrian Religion — the Life of Buddha and its Lessons, &c. 

The Manchester Examiner describes these lectures as " rich in interest 
AND suggestiveness," and says that "the theosophy expounded in this 
volume is at once a theology, a metaphysic, and a sociology," and concludes 
a lengthy notice by stating that " Colonel Olcott's volume deserves, and will 
repay, the study of all readers for whom the byways of speculation have an 
irresistible charm." 



Demy 8z'o, pp. xii. and 324, Cloth ^ \os. 6d. 

Incidents in the Life of Madame 



Blavatsky. 



Compiled from Information supplied by Her 
Relatives and Friends, 

And Edited by A. P. SINNETT. 

With a Portrait Reproduced from an Original Painting bv 

Hermann Schmiechen. 

Contents : — Childhood — Marriage and Travel — At Home in Russia, 1858 — Mme. de 
Jelihowskj''s Narrative — From Apprenticeship to Duty — Residence in America — Estab- 
lished in India — A Visit to Europe, &c. 

Truth says : — "For any credulous friend who revels in such stories I can 
recommend 'Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky.' I read every 
line of the book with much interest." 

Theosophists will find both edification and interest in the book. 



Post 8vo, pp. viii. and 350, C/oth £z/t, ys. 6d. 

The Blood Covenant, a 
Primitive Rite, 

And its Bearings on Scripture. 

By H. clay TRUMBULL, D.D. 

Contents : — The Prhnitive Rite Itself.— {i) Sources of Bible Study — (2) An Ancient 
Semitic Rite — (3) The Primitive Rite in Africa — (4) Traces of the Rite in Europe — 
(5) World-wide Sweep of the Rite,— (6) Light from the Classics— (7) The Bond of the 
Covenant,— (8) The Rite and its Token in Egypt— (9) Other Gleams of the Rite. 
Suggestions and Perversions of tlte Rite. — (i) Sacredness of Blood and of the Heart — 
(2) Vivifying Power of Blood — (3) A new Nature through new Blood — (4) Life from 
any Blood, and by a Touch — (5) Inspiration through Blood— (6) Inter-communion through 
Blood— (7) Symbolic Substitutes for Blood — (8) Blood Covenant Involvings. Indications 
of the Rite in the Bibie.—if) Limitations of Inquiry— (2) Primitive Teachings of Blood — 



(3) The Blood Covenant in Circumcision— (41 The Blood Covenant Tested— (5) The Blood 
Covenant and its Tokens in the Passover— (6) The Blood Covenant at Sinai— (7) ihe 
Blood Covenant in the Mosaic Ritual— (8) The Primitive Rite Illustrated— (9) Ihe Blood 
Covenant in the Gospels— (10) The Blood Covenant applied. Importance of this Kite 
strangely undervalued— Life in the Blood, in the Heart, in the Liver— Transmigration 
of Souls— The Blood-rite in Burmah— Blood-stained Tree of the Covenant— Blood- 
drinking— Covenant Cutting— Blood-bathing— Blood-ransoming— The Covenant-reminder 
—Hints of Blood Union — Topical Index — Scriptural Index. 

"An admirable .study of a primitive belief and custom — one of the utmost 
importance in considering the growth of civilisation. ... In thedetails of 
the work will be found much to attract the attention of the curious. Its 
fundamental and essential value, however, is for the student of religions ; and 
all such will be grateful to Dr Trumbull for this solid, instructive, and 

ENLIGHTENING WORK." — Scotstuau. 



Post Svo, pp. xiii. and 220, Cloth, \os. dd. 

The Life 



OF 



Philippus Theophrastus, Bombast of Hohenheim, 

KNOWN BY THE NAME OF 

Paracelsus. 

And the Substance of his Teachings concerning 

Cosmology, Anthropology, Pneumatology, Magic 

AND Sorcery, Medicine, Alchemy and 

Astrology, Philosophy 

AND ThEOSOPHY. 

Extracted and Translated from his Rare and Extensive 
Works, and from some Unpublished Manuscripts, 

By FRANZ HARTMANN, M.D. 

Contents: — The Life of Paracelsus — Explanation of Terms— Cosmologj' — Anthropology 
— Pneumatology — Magic and Sorcery — Medicine — Alchemy and Astrology- — Philosophy 
and Theosophy — Appendix. 

St James's Gazette describes this as "a book which will have some per- 
manent value to the student of the occult," and says that "Students 
should be grateful for this book, despite its setting of Theosophical 



nonsense." 



Crown 8vo, pp. x. and 124, Parchment, ds. 

The Raven. 

By EDGAR ALLAN POE. 
With Literary and Historical Commentary by John H. Ingram. 

Contents: — Genesis — The Raven, with Variorum Readings — History — Isadore — 
Translations : French — German — Hungarian — Latin — Fabrications — Parodies — Biblio- 
g raphy — Index. 

"An interesting monograph on Poe's famous poem." — Spectator. 

" There is no more reliable authority on the subject than Mr 
John H. Ingram. Much curious information is collected in his essay. 
The volume is well printed and tastefully bound in spotless vellum." — 
Publishers Cii'Ctdar. 



Crown 8vo., pp. viii. and 184, Cloth, 2s. 6d. 

Burma as it was, as it is, and 

as it will be. 

By JAMES GEORGE SCOTT. 
{Shway Voe.) 

Contents: — I. The History — Burma according to Native Theories — Origin of the Bur- 
mese — Early History — First appearance of Europeans in Burma — Worrying our Repre- 
sentatives — War with Burma — The Inevitable End. II. The Country — Lower Burma — 
Upper Burma — The Irrawaddy to Mandalay — Mandalay — The Irrawaddyabove Mandalay. 
III. The People — Burmese Kings — Burmese Officials — The Hloat-daw — The Officers of 
the Household — Method of Appointment and Payment — The People — Their Faults — 
Excellence as Buddhists — Doctrine of Good Works — Superstitions — Lucky and Unlucky 
Days — The most Sociable of Men — Freedom of the Women — A Nation of Smokers — 
Contented with British Rule — Ascendency of the Chinaman Trade — Hill-tribes — Their 
Religion — Hope for the Nomads — The Kachyens. 

The Saturday Review says : — " Before going to help to govern them, 
Mr Scott has once more written on the Burmese . . . Mr Scott claims 
to have covered the whole ground, and as there is nobody competent to 
criticise him except himself, we shall not presume to say how far he has 
succeeded. What, however, may be asserted with absolute confidence is, 
that he has written A bright, readable, and useful book." 



Croivn Svo, pp. xxviii. and 184, Cloth^ 5^. 

The History of Tithes, 

From Abraham to Queen Victoria. 

By henry W. CLARKE. 

Contents :— The History of Tithes before the Christian Era— From the Christian Era 
to A.D. 400— From a.d. 400 to a.d. 787 — From a.d. 787 to a.d. iooo — From a.d. loaoto a.d. 
T215 — From a.d. 1215 to the Dissolution of Monasteries — Monasteries — Infeudations — 
Exemption from Paying Tithes— The Dissolution of Monasteries — The Commutation Act 
of 1836, 6 and 7 Will. IV., c. 71— Tithes in the City and Liberties of London— Redemption 
of Tithe Rent Charge— Some Remarks on "A Defence of the Church of England against 
Disestablishment," by the Earl of Selborne. 

"An impartial and valuable array of facts and figures, which should be read 
by all who ai"e interested in the solution of the tithe problem." — Athemcum. 

*'The best book of moderate size yet published for the purpose of 
enabling an ordinary reader to thoroughly understand the origin and history 
of this ancient impost." — Literary World. 



Crown SvOj pp. xl. and 395, Cloth extra, ']s. 6d. 

Essays in the Study of 
Folk-Songs. 

By the Countess EVELYN MARTINENGO-CESARESCO. 

Contents : — The Inspiration of Death in Folk-Poetry — Nature in Folk-Songs — Armenian 
Folk-Songs — Venetian Folk-Songs — Sicilian Folk-Songs — Greek Songs of Calabria — Folk- 
Songs of Provence — The White Paternoster — The Diffusion of Ballads — Songs for the Rite 
of May — The Idea of Fate in Southern Traditions — Folk-Lullabies — Folk Dirges, &c. 

The Saturday Review, concluding a page-notice of this book, sums it up as 
"an admirable volume, a volume remarkable for knowledge, sympathy, and 
good taste." 

"This is a very delightful book, full of information and 
THOUGHTFUL SUGGESTIONS. " — Standard. 

"The Countess is, or should be, a well-known authority among special 
students of this branch of literature." — Daily News. 



Large Paper Edition, Royal ^vo, pp. xvi. and 60, 7^-. dd. 

An Essay on the Genius of 
George Cruikshank. 

By WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY. 

Reprinted Verbatim from " The Westminster Review y 

Edited with a Prefatory Note on Thackeray as an 
Artist and Art Critic, by W. E. Church. 

With Upwards of Forty Illustrations, including all the 
Original Woodcuts, and a new Portrait of Cruikshank 

ETCHED BY F. W. PaILTHORPE. 

As the original copy of the Westminster is now excessively rare, this 
re-issue will no doubt be welcomed by collectors. The new portrait of 
Cruikshank by F. W. Pailthorpe is a clear firm etching. 



Pp. 102, Cloth y 2s. 6d. 

Pope Joan 

(THE FEMALE POPE); 

A Historical Study. 

Translated from the Greek of Emmanuel Rhoidis, 

with Preface by 

CHARLES HASTINGS COLLETTE. 

Frontispiece taken from the ancient MS. Nuremberg 
Chronicle, preserved at Cologne. 

*' The subject of Pope Joan will always have its attractions for the lovers of 
the curiosities of history. Rhoidis discusses the topic with much learning and 
ingenuity, and Mr Collette's Introduction is full of information."' — Globe. 



Crown Svo, pp. 40, printed on hand-made paper, Vellwn Gilt, 6s. 

The Bibliography of Swinburne ; 

A Bibliographical List, Arranged in Chronological 

Order, of the Published Writings, in Verse and 

Prose, of Algernon Charles Swinburne 

(1857-1887). 

Only 250 copies printed. The compiler, writing on April 5, 1887, says:— 
*'Born on April 5, 1837, in the year of Queen Victoria's Accession, of which 
the whole nation is now celebrating the Jubilee, Algernon Charles Swinburne 
to-day attains the jubilee or 50th year of his own life, and may therefore be 
claimed as an essentially and exclusively Victorian poet." 

Indispensable to Swinburne Collectors. 



Demj' Sz>o, pp. xxiv. and 104, Clot/i extra, Js. 6d. 

The Astrologer's Guide 

(ANIMA ASTROLOGI^) ; 

Or, A Guide for Astrologers. 



BEING 



The One Hundred and Forty-Six Considerations of 
THE Famous Astrologer, Guido Bonatus, Trans- 
lated FROM THE Latin by Henry Coley, 

TOGETHER WITH 

The Choicest Aphorisms of the Seven Segments 

of Jerome Cardan of Milan, Edited by 

William Lilly (1675). 

Now FIRST Republished from a Unique Copy of the 
Original Edition, with Notes and a Preface, by 

WM. C. ELDON SERJEANT, 
fellow of the theosophical society. 

" Mr Serjeant deserves the thanks of all who are interested in astrology for 
rescuing this important work from obUvion. . . . The growing interest in 
mystical science will lead to a revival of astrological study, and advanced 
students will find this book an indispensable addition to their 
libraries. The book is well got up and printed." — Theosophist. 



idmo^ pp. xvi. and 148, Cloth extra ^ 2s. 

Tobacco Talk and Smokers' 

Gossip. 

An Amusing Miscellany of Fact and Anecdote Relating 

TO THE " Great Plant " in all its Forms and 

Uses, Including a Selection from 

Nicotian Literature. 

Contents : — A Tobacco Parliament — Napoleon's First Pipe — A Dutch Poet and 
Napoleon's Snuff-Box — Frederick the Great as an Ass— Too Small for Two — A Smoking 
Empress — The Smoking Princesses — An Incident on the G.W.R — Raleigh's Tobacco Box — 
Bismarck's Last Cigar — Bismarck's Cigar Story — Moltke's Pound of Snuff^Lord Brougham 
as a Smoker — Mazzini's Sang-froid as a Smoker — Lord Clarendon as a Smoker — Politics 
and Snuff-Boxes — Penn and Tobacco — Tobacco and the Papacy — The Snuff-MuU in the 
Scotch Kirk— Whateley as a Snuff-Taker— The First Bishop who Smoked— Pigs and 
Smokers — Jesuits' Snuff — Kemble Pipes — An Ingenious Smoker — Anecdote of Dean 
Aldrich — Smoking to the Glory of God — Professor Huxley on Smoking — Blucher's Pipe- 
Master — Shakespeare and Tobacco — Ben Jonson on Tobacco — Lord Byron on Tobacco — 
Decamps and Horace Vernet — Milton's Pipe — Anecdote of Sir Isaac Newton — Emerson and 
Carlyle — Paley and his Pipe — Jules Sandeau on the Cigar — The Pickwick of Fleet Street — 
The Obsequio of Havana — The Social Pipe ( Thackerayy—Tx'wiva^h. of Tobacco over Sack 
and Ale — The Smoking Philosopher — Sam Slick on the Virtues of a Pipe — Smoking in 1610 
— Bulwer-Lytton on Tobacco-Smoking — Professor Sedgwick — St Pierre on the Effect of 
Tobacco — Ode to Tobacco (C. 6". Calverley) — Meat and Drink {CJuirles Kingsley) — The 
Meerschaum {O. W. Holmes) — Charles Kingsley at Eversley— Robert Bums's Snuff-Box — 
Robinson Crusoe's Tobacco — Guizot — Victor Hugo — Mr Buckle as a Smoker — Carlyle on 
Tobacco — A Poet's Pipe {Baudelaire) — A Pipe of Tobacco — The Headsman's Snuff-box — 
The Pipe and Snuff-box {jCmvper) — Anecdote of Charles Lamb — Gibbon as a Snuff-Taker — 
Charles Lamb as a Smoker — Farewell to Tobacco {CJias. Latnb) — The Power of Smoke 
{Thackeray) — Thackeray as a Smoker — Dickens as a Smoker — Chewing and Spitting in 
America — Tennyson as a Smoker — A Smoker's Opinion of Venice — Coleridge's First Pipe 
— Richard Porson — Cruikshank and Tobacco — Mr James Payn — Mr Swinburne on 
Raleigh — The Anti-Tobacco Party — "This Indian Weed" — Dr Abernethy on Snuff-Taking 
— Abernethy and a Smoking Patient — Tobacco and the Plague — "The Greatest Tobacco 
Stopper in all England " — Dr Richardson on Tobacco — Advice to Smokers — Some Strange 
Smokers— The Etymology of Tobacco— The Snuff called "Irish Blackguard"— A Snuff- 
Maker's Sign— Mr Sala's Cigar- Shop— Death of the "Yard of Clay"— A Prodigious 
Smoker — A Professor of Smoking — Tobacco in Time of War — Ages attained by Great 
Smokers— A Maiden's Wish — " Those Dreadful Cigars " — How to take a Pinch of Snuffs 
The Tobacco Plant — Fate of an Early Smoker — Adding Insult to Injury — Tom Brown on 
Smoking — The Snuff-Taker — Tobacco in North America — National Characteristics — 
Smoking at School — Carlyle on " The Veracities " — Children's Pipes — The Uses of Cigar 
Ash — An Inveterate Smoker — A Tough Yarn — Some French Smokers — Riddles for Smokers 
— Cigar Manufacturing in Havana. 

" One of the best books of gossip we have met for some time. ... It 
is literally crammed full from beginning to end of its 148 pages with well- 
selected anecdotes, poems, and excerpts from tobacco literature and history. " 
— Graphic. 

" The smoker should be grateful to the compilers of this pretty little 
volume. . . . No smoker should be without it, and anti-tobacconists 
have only to turn over its leaves to be converted." — Fa// Mall Gazette. 

"Something to please smokers; and non-smokers may be interested in 
tracing the effect of tobacco — the fatal, fragrant herb — on our literature." — 
Literaty World. 



Demy Svo, pp. xliii. and 349, tvith Illustrations, Cloth extra, lOs. 6d. 

The Mysteries of Magic ; 

A Digest of the Writings of Eliphas Levi. 

With Biographical and Critical Essay 
By ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE. 

Contents: — Initiatory Exercises and Preparations — Religious and Philoso- 
I'HiCAL Problems and Hypotheses — The Hermetic Axiom, Faith — The True God— '1 he 
Christ of God — Mysteries of the Logos — The True Religion — The Reason of Prodigies, or 
the Devil before Science — Scientific and Magical Theorems — On Numbers and their 
Virtues — Theory of Will Power — The Translucid — The great Magic Agent, or the 
Mysteries of the Astral Light — Magic Equilibrium — The Magic Chain — The great Magic 
Arcanum — The Doctrine of Spiritual Essences, or Kabbalistic Pneumatics ; with 
the Mysteries of Evocation, Necromancy, and Black Magic — Immortality—The 
Astral Body — Unity and Solidarity of Spirits — The great Arcanum of Death, or Spiritual 
Transition, Hierarchy, and Classification of Spirits — Fluidic Phantoms and their Mysteries 
— Elementary Spirits and the Ritual of their Conjuration — Necromancy — Mysteries of the 
Pentagram and other Pantacles — Magical Ceremonial and Consecration of Talismans — 
Black Magic and the Secrets of the Witches — Sabbath — Witchcraft and Spells — The Key 
of Mesmerism — Modern Spiritualism — The great Practical Secrets or Realisations 
of Magical Science — The " Magnum Opus" — The Universal Medicine — Renewed Youth — 
Transformations — Divination — Astrology — The Tarot, the Book of Hermes, or of Koth — 
Eternal Life, or Profound Peace — Epilogue — Supplement — The Kabbalah — Thaumatur- 
gical Experiences of Eliphas Levi — Evocation of Apollonius of Tyana — Ghosts in Paris — 
The Magician and the Medium — Eliphas Levi and the Sect of Eugene Vintras— The 
Magician and the Sorcerer — Secret History of the Assassination of the Archbishop of Paris 
— Notes. 

" Of the many remarkable men who have gained notoriety by their profici- 
ency, real or imaginary, in the Black Arts, probably none presents a more 
strange and irreconcileable character than the French magician Alphonse Louis 
Constant. . . . Better known under the Jewish pseudonym of Eliphas 
Levi Zahed, this enthusiastic student of forbidden art made some stir in 
France, and even in London. . . . His WORKS ON MAGIC ARE THOSE OF 
AN UNDOUBTED GENIUS, and divulge a philosophy beautiful in conception, if 

totally opposed to common sense principles There is so great a fund 

of learning and of attractive reasoning in these writings, that Mr Arthur 
Edward Waite has published a digest of them for the benefit of English 
readers. This gentleman has not attempted a literal translation in every 
case, but has arranged a volume which, while reproducing with sufficient 
accuracy a great portion of the more interesting works, affords an excellent 
idea of the scope of the entire literary remains of an enthusiast for whom he 
entertains a profound admiration. . . . The reader may with profit peruse 
carefully the learned dissertations penned by M. Constant upon the Hermetic 
art treated as a religion, a philosophy, and a natural science. ... In view 
of the remarkable exhibitions of mesmeric influence and thought reading 
which have been recently given, it is not improbable that the thoughtful 
reader may find a clue in the writings of this cultured and amiable magician 
to the secret of many of the manifestations of witchcraft that formerly struck 



wonder and terror into the hearts of simple folks. . . ." — The Morning 
Post. 

"The present single volume is a digest of half-a-dozen books enumerated 
by the present author in a 'biographical and critical essay' with which 
he prefaces his undertaking. These are the Dogme et Ritual de la Haute 
Magie, the Histoire de la Magie, the Clef des Grands Afysteres, the 
Sorcier de Mendon^ the Philosophie Occulte, and the Science des Esprits. 
To attack the whole series — which, indeed, it might be difficult to obtain 
now in a complete form — would be a bold undertaking, but Mr Waite 
has endeavoured to give his readers the essence of the whole six books in a 
relatively compact compass. . . . The book before us is encyclopedic 
IN ITS RANGE, and it would be difficult to find a single volume which is better 
calculated to supply modern inquiries with a general conception of the scope 
and purpose of the occult sciences at large. It freely handles, amongst 
others, the ghastly topics of witchcraft and black magic, but certainly 
it would be difficult to imagine any reader tempted to enter those pathways 
of experiment by the picture of their character and purpose that Eliphas Levi 
supplies. In this way the intrepid old Kabbalist, though never troubling his 
readers with sublime exhortations in the interests of virtue, writes under the 
inspiration of an uncompromising devotion to the loftiest ideals, and all his 
philosophy ' makes for righteousness.' " — Mr A. P. Sinnett in Light. 

"We are grateful to Mr Waite for translating the account of how L^vi, in 
a lone chamber in London, called up the spirit of Apollonius of Tyana, 
This very creepy composition is written in quite the finest manner of the late 
Lord Lytton when he was discoursing upon the occult." — The Saturday 
Review. 



Demy iSmo, pp. vi. and 132, ivith Woodctits, Fancy Cloth, \s. 

John Leech, Artist and 
Humourist. 

A Biographical Sketch. 

By FRED. F. KITTON. 

New Edition, Revised. 

" In the absence of a fuller biography we cordially welcome Mr Kitton's 
interesting little sketch." — Notes atid Queries. 

"The multitudinous admirers of the famous artist will find this touching 
monograph well worth careful reading and preservation." — Daily Chronicle. 

"The very model of what such a memoir should be." — Graphic. 



4^0, zvith Frontispiece, pp. xxx. and 154, ParcJvnejit, los. 6d. 

T HE HERMETIC WORK S. 

The Virgin of the World 



OF 



Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus. 

Now FIRST Rendered into English, with Essay, 
Introductions, and Notes, 

By DR anna KINGSFORD and EDWARD MAITLAND, 

AUTHORS OF "THE PERFECT WAY." 

Published under the auspices of the Hermetic Society. Essays on "The 
Hermetic Books," by E. M., and on "The Hermetic System and the 
Significance of its Present Revival," by A. K. " The Virgin of the World " 
is followed by " Asclepios on Initiation," the " Definitions of Asclepios," 
and the " Fragments of Hermes." 






It will be a most interesting study for eveiy occultist to compare the 
doctrines of the ancient Hermetic philosophy with the teaching of the 
Vedantic and Buddhist systems of religious thought. The famous books 
OF Hermes seem to occupy, with reference to the Egyptian religion, the 
same position which the Upanishads occupy in Aryan religious literature." — 
Theosophist, November, 1SS5. 



Imperial 16/no, pp. 16, zurappei', printed on Whatman'' s hand-made paper. 
250 copies only, each ntwibered. ^s. 

A Word for the Navy. 

By ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE. 

"Mr Swinburne's new patriotic song, ' A Word for the Navy,' is as fiery 
in its denunciation of those he believes to be antagonistic to the welfare of the 
country as was his lyric with which he startled the readers of the Times one 
mornins:. " — Athemeiim. 

The publisher of this poem is also the sole proprietor of the copyright ; it cajinot 
therefore be ittcluded in Mr Siuinburne^s collected ivorks. 



4^0, pp. 121, Illustrated zvith a number of beautiful Symbolical Figures, 

Parchment gilt, price los. 6d. 

ASTROLOGY THEOLOGIZED. 

The Spiritual Hermeneutics of 
Astrology and Holy Writ. 

Being a Treatise upon the Influence of the Stars 

ON Man and on the Art of Ruling Them by 

the Law of Grace. 

{Reprinted from the original of 1 649.) 

With a Prefatory Essay ox the True Method of 
Interpreting Holy Scripture, 

By anna bonus KINGSFORD. 

Illustrated with Engravings on Wood. 



Contents: — What Astrology is, and what Theology; and how they have reference 
one to another — Concerning the Subject of Astrology — Of the three parts of Man; 
Spirit, Soul, and Body, from whence every one is taken, and how one is in the other — 
Of the Composition of the Microcosm, that is Man, from the Macrocosm, the great World — 
That all kind of Sciences, Studies, Actions, and Lives, flourishing amongst Men on the 
Earth and Sea, do testify that all Astrology, that is, Natural Wisdom, with all its Species, 
is and is to be really found in every Man. And so all things, whatsoever Men act on 
Earth, are produced, moved, governed, and acted from the Inward Heaven. And what 
are the Stars which a Wise Man ought to rule. Touching a double Firmament and Star 
in every Man; and that by the Benefit of Regeneration in the Exercise of the Sabbath, a 
Man may be transposed from a worse nature into a better — Touching the Distribution of 
all Astrology into the Seven Governors of the World, and their Operations and Offices, as 
well in the Macrocosm as in the Microcosm — Touching the Astrology of Saturn, of what 
kind it is, and how it ought to be Theologized — A Specifical Declaration, how the Astrology 
of Saturn in Man ought to be and may be Theologized. 

The Stjaf?ies^s Gazette says : — " It is well for Dr Anna Kingsford that she 
was not born into the sidereal world four hundred years ago. Had that been 
her sorry fate, she would assuredly have been burned at the stake for her 
preface to ' Astrology Theologized.' It is a very long preface — more than 
half the length of the treatise it introduces ; it contains some of the 
FINEST FLOWERS OF THEOSOPHICAL PHILOSOPHY, and of course makes 
very short work of Christianity." 



Cro7vnS>vo, pp. ^6, printed on Whatman'' s Handmade Paper, Velhtm Gilt, (a. 

Hints to Collectors 

Of Original Editions of the Works of 
Charles Dickens. 

By CHARLES PLUMPTRE JOHNSON. 

Including Books, Plays, and Portraits, there are 167 items fully described. 

" This is a sister volume to the * Hints to Collectors of First Editions of 
Thackeray,' which we noticed a month or two ago. As we are unable 
to detect any slips in his work, we must content ourselves with thanking 
him for the correctness of his annotations. It is unnecessary to repeat our 
praise of the Q!i^gzxii format of these books." — Academy. 



Cro7vn Zvo^ pp. 48, printed on Whatman'' s Handmade Paper, Velhim Gilt, bs. 

Hints to Collectors 

Of Original Editions of the Works of William 

Makepeace Thackeray. 

By CHARLES PLUMPTRE JOHNSON. 

" . . . .A guide to those who are great admirers of Thackeray, and are 
collecting first editions of his works. The dainty little volume, bound 
in parchment and printed on hand-made paper, is very concise and convenient 
in form ; on each page is an exact copy of the title-page of the work 
mentioned thereon, a collation of pages and illustrations, useful hints on the 
differences in editions, with other matters indispensable to collectors. 
. . . Altogether it represents a large amount of labour and experience." — 
Spectator. 



LaTge Crown %vo^ pp. xxxii. and 324, Cloth extra. Gilt Top, los. 6d. 

Sea Song and River Rhyme, 

From Chaucer to Tennyson. 

SELECTED AND EDITED BY 

ESTELLE DAVENPORT ADAMS. 

With a New Poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne. 

With Twelve Etchings. 

In general, the Songs and Poetical Extracts are limited to those which 
deal with the Sea and Rivers as natural objects, and are either descriptive or 
reflective. The Etchings are printed in different colours ; the headpieces are 
also original. 

"The book is, on the whole, otie of the best of its kind ever published.'''' — 
Glasgozu Herald. 

"The editor has made the selection with praiseworthy judgment." — 
Morning Post. 

" Twelve really exquisite and delicately executed etchings of sea and river- 
side accompany and complete THIS BEAUTIFUL VOLUME." — Morning Post. 

"A special anthology, delightful in itself, and possessing the added graces 
of elegant printing and dainty illustrations." — Scotsman. 

"The volume is got up in the handsomest style, and includes a dozen 
etchings of sea and river scenes, some of which are exquisite." — Literary 
IVorld. 



Croivji Svo, pp. xl. and 420, Cloth extra, \os. 6d. 

The History of the Forty Vezirs; 

Or, The Story of the Forty Morns and Eves. 

Written in Turkish by SHEYKH-ZADA ; 
Done into English by E. J. W. GIBB, M.R.A.S. 

The celebrated Turkish romance, translated from a printed but undated 
text procured a few years ago in Constantinople. 

"A delightful addition to the wealth of Oriental stories available to 
English readers. . . . Mr Gibb has considerately done everything to help 
the reader to an intelligent appreciation of this charming book." — 
Saturday Review. 

Sir Richard F. Burton says : — " In my opinion, the version is definite 
and final. The style is light and pleasant, with the absolutely necessary 
flavour of quaintness ; and the notes, though short and few, are sufficient and 
satisfactory." 



Complete in 12 Vols. £'^, i6s. 6tl. nett. 

The Antiquarian Magazine and 

Bibliographer. 



Edited by 
KDWARD WALFORD, MA. AND G. W. REDWAY, F.R.H.S. 

This illustrated periodical, highly esteemed by students of English 
antiquities, biography, folk-lore, bibliography, numismatics, genealogy, 
&c., was founded in 1 882 by Mr Edward Walford, and completed in 
1887 under the editorship of Mr G. W. Redway. Only some thirty 
COMPLETE SETS REMAIN, and they are offered at a very moderate price. 

Contents of Vols. XI. and XII.: — Domesday Book — Frostiana — Some Kentish 
Proverbs — The Literature of Almanacks — " Madcap Harry " and Sir John Popham — 
Tom Coryate and his Crudities — Notes on John Wilkes and Boswell's Life of Johnson — 
The Likeness of Christ — The Life, Times, and Writings of Thomas Fuller — Society in the 
Elizabethan Age — Chapters from Family Chests — Collection of Parodies — Rarities in 
the Locker-Lampson Collection — A Day with the late Mr Edward Solly — The Defence 
of England in the i6th Century — The Ordinary from Mr Thomas Jenyn's Booke 
of Armes — A Forgotten Cromwellian Tomb — Visitation of the Monasteries in the Reign 
of Henry the Eighth — The Rosicrucians — The Seilliere Library — A Lost Work — Romances 
of Chivalry — Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland — The Art of 
the Old English Potter — The Story of the Spanish Armada — Books for a Reference Library 
— Myth-Land — Sir Bevis of Hampton — Cromwell and the Saddle Letter of Charles L — 
Recent Discoveries at Rome — Folk-Lore of British Birds — An old Political Broadside 
— Notes for Coin Collectors — Higham Priory — By-Ways of Periodical Literature — Memoir 
of Captain Dalton — A History of the Parish of Mortlake, in the County of Surrey — 
Historic Towns — Exeter — Traits and Stories of Ye 01 de Cheshire Cheese — The Pre- 
History of the North — The Vision of William concerning Piers the Plowman — The 
Curiosities of Ale — The Books and Bookmen of Reading — How to trace a Pedigree — 
The Language of the Law — Words, Idioms, &c„ of the Vulgar — The Romans in 
Cumbria — The Study of Coins — An Un-bowdlerised Boccaccio — The Kabbalah — The 
House of Aldus — Bookselling in Little Britain — Copper-plates and Woodcuts by the 
Bewicks — Excavations at Ostia — Sir Sages of Somerset — The Good Queen Bertha — The 
popular Drama of the Pa=t — Relics of Astrologic Idioms — A Leaf from an Old Account 
Book — The Romance of a Gibbet — General Pardons — Thorscross or Thurscross( Yorkshire) — 
The Genesis of " In Memoriam " — The Influence of Italian upon English Literature — 
The Trade Signs of Essex — The Ancient Cities of the New World — The Legendarj' 
History of the Cross — History of Runcorn — The Rosicrucians ; their Rites and Mysteries — 
Old Glasgow Families — The House of Aldus — Merlin, the Prophet of the Celts — A 
facetious Advertisement — Funeral Garlands — Bookselling on London Bridge — Millom 
Cumberland — A forgotten Children's Book of Charles Dickens — The Rothschilds; a 
Trilogy of the Life to come — The Beer of the Bible — Story of the Drama in Exeter — 
By-Ways of Periodical Literature — Reading Anecdotes — Tennysonian and Thackerayan 
Rarities — The Origin and History of Change Ringing — More Vulgar Words and Phrases — 
The popular Drama of the past — Some Poems attributed to Byron — The Marriage of 
Cupid and Psyche — Sketches of Life in Japan — The first nine years of the Bank of 
England — The Brunswick Accession — History of the Bassandyne Bible — Peculiar Courts — 
Vulgar Etymologies — Nuremburg — Metal Pan-making in England — The Pews of the 
Past — Octocentenary of the Death of William the Conqueror — A Black Magician — The 
Allegorical Signification of the Tinctures in Heraldry — The Purpose of the Ages — The 



Sieges of Pontefract Castle—A Life of John Colet — The History of Sport in Cheshire — 
Tom Coryat and his Crudities — The Tarot : an Antique Method of Divination — Law 
French — The Pews of the Past— Shropshire Folk-Lore — The Printed Book— St Mary 
Overies Priory Church, Southwark — Some curious passages from Baker's Chronicle — The 
resting-place of Cromwell — A Library of Rarities — Europe in the reign of James the 
Sixth — Myths, Scenes, and Worthies of Somerset — Herefordshire Words and Phrases — 
Chronicles of an Old Inn — Epitaphs — The Gnostics and their Remains — Collectanea — 
Meetings of Learned Societies — News and Notes — Obituary Memoirs — Correspondence — 
Vos Valete et Plaudite. 



Large Demy Svo, pp. xx. and 268, Cloth, \os. 6d. 

Sultan Stork; 

And other Stories and Sketches. 

By WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY. 

(1829-1844.) 

Now First Collected. 

To WHICH IS ADDED THE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ThACKERAY, REVISED 

AND Considerably Enlarged. 

Contains two unpublished letters of A.'C. Swinburne, Thackeray's contributions to "The 
National Standard," ''The Snob," also " Dickens in France," " Letters on the Fine Arts," 
" Elizabeth Brownrigge : A Tale,"" &c. 

" Thackeray collectors, however, have only to be told that none of the 

PIECES NOW PRINTED APPEAR IN THE TWO VOLUMES RECENTLY ISSUED by 

Messrs Smith, Elder, & Co., in order to make them desire their possession. 
They will also welcome the revision of the Bibliography, since it now 
presents a complete list, arranged in chronological order, of Thackeray's 
published writings in prose and verse, and also of his sketches and drawings." 
— Daily Chronicle. 

" ' Sultan Stork' .... is undoubtedly the work of Mr Thackeray, and 
is quite pretty and funny enough to have found a place in his collected 
miscellanies. ' Dickens in France ' is as good in its way as Mr Thackeray's 
analysis of Alexander Dumas ' ' Kean ' in the ' Paris Sketch-Book. ' . . . 
There are other slight sketches in this volume which are evidently by Mr 
Thackeray, and several of his obiter dicta in them are worth preserving. . . . 
We do not assume to fix Mr Thackeray's rank or to appraise his merits as an 
art critic. We only know that, in our opinion, few of his minor writings are 
so pleasant to read as his shrewd and genial comments on modern painters 
and paintings." — Saturday Revie^v. 

"Admirers of Thackeray may be grateful for a Reprint of 
* SuLTAN Stork.'" — Athencstwi. 



Detiiy 8^'<?, pp. viii. and 6S, Parchmeni, ']$. 6</. 

Primitive Symbolism as 
Illustrated in Phallic Worship ; 

Or, The Reproductive Principle. 

By HODDER M. WESTROPP. 
With an Introduction by General Forlong. 

" This work is a viulhim in parvo of the growth and spread of Phallicism, 
as we commonly call the worship of nature or fertilizing powers. I felt, when 
solicited to enlarge and illustrate it on the sudden death of the lamented 
author, that it would be desecration to touch so complete a compendium 
by one of the most competent and soundest thinkers who have 
WRITTEN ON THIS WORLD-WIDE FAITH. None knew better or saw more 
clearly than Mr Westropp that in this oldest symbolism and worship lay the 
foundations of all the goodly systems we call Religions. " — ^J. G. R. Forlong. 

"A well-selected repertory of facts illustrating this subject, which should 
be read by all who are interested in the study of the growth of religions." — 
Westmhister Review. 



Fcap. Svo, 80 pp., Vellum, \os. 6d. 

Beauty and the Beast; 

Or, a Rough Outside with a Gentle Heart. 

A Poem. 
By CHARLES LAMB. 

Now FIRST Reprinted from the Original Edition of 181 i, 
WITH Preface and Notes by Richard Herne Shepherd. 

For three quarters of a century this charming fragment of Lamb's genius 
lay buried ; even the author seems to have forgotten its existence, since 
we find no reference, either direct or indirect, to the little tale in Lamb's 
published correspondence, or in any of the Lamb books. The credit of a 
discovery highly interesting to all lovers of Charles Lamb is due to the 
industry and sagacity of Mr John Pearson, formerly of 15 York Street, 
Covent Garden. 

The publisher has now endeavoured to place the booklet beyond future 
chance of loss by reproducing one hundred copies for the use of libraries 
and collectors. 



\^mo, pp. xxvi. and I'j^, Cloth extj-a, 2s. 

Wellerisms, 

From " Pickwick " and " Master Humphrey's 

Clock." 

Selected by CHARLES F. RIDEAL, 
And Edited, with an Introduction, by CHARLES KENT. 

Among the Contents are : — Sam Weller's Introduction — Old Weller at Doctor's Commons — 
Sam on a Legal Case — Self-acting Ink — Out with It — Sam's Old White Hat — Independent 
Voters — Proud o' the Title — The Weller Philosophy — The Twopenny Rope — Job Trotter's 
Tears — Sam's INIisgivings as to Mr Pickwick — Clear the Way for the Wheelbarrow — Unpack- 
ing the Lunch Hamper — Battledore and Shuttlecock — A True Londoner — Spoiling the Beadle 
— Old Weller's Remedy for the Gout — Sam on Cabs — Poverty and Oysters — Old Weller on 
Pikes — Sam's Power of Suction — Veller and Gammon — Sam as Master of the Ceremonies — 
Sam before Mr Nupkins — Sam's Introduction to Mary and the Cook — Something behind the 
Door — Sam and Master Bardell — Good Wishes to Messrs Dodson & Fogg — Sam and his 
Mother-in-Law — The Shepherd's Water Rates — Stiggins as an Arithmetician — Sam and the 
Fat Boy — Compact and Comfortable — Apologue of the Fat Man's Watch — Medical Students 
— Sam Subpoenaed — Disappearance of the " Sausage " Maker — Sam Weller's Valentine — Old 
Weller's Plot — Tea Drinking at Brick Lane — The Soldier's Evidence Inadmissible — Sam's 
" Wision" Limited — A Friendly " Swarry" — The Killebeate— Sam and the Surly Groom — 
Mr Pickwick's Dark Lantern — The Little Dirty-faced Man — Old'Weller Inexorable — Away 
with Melancholy — Post Boys and Donkeys — A Vessel — Old Weller's Threat — Sam's Dis- 
missal of the Fat Boy— Is she a " Widder"?— Bill Blinder's Request— The Watch-box 
Boy. 

*'.... The best sayings of the immortal Sam and his sportive parent 
are collected here. The book may be taken up for a few minutes with the 
certainty of affording amusement, and it can be carried away in the pocket.'^ 
— Literary World. 

" It was a very good idea . . . the extracts are very numerous , . . here 
nothing is missed.'' — Glasgoiv Herald. 



Demy ^vo, pp. 99, zuith Protractor and 16 plates, coloured and plain. 

Cloth gilt, Js. 6d. 

Geometrical Psychology ; 

Or, The Science of Representation. 

An Abstract of the Theories and Diagrams of 

B. W. Betts. 

By LOUISA S. COOK. 

"His attempt seems to have taken a similar direction to that of George 
Boole in logic, with the difference that, whereas Boole's expression of the 
Laws of Thought is algebraic, Betts' expresses mind-growth geometrically; 



that is to Eay, his growth-formulae are expressed in numerical series, of which 
each can be pictured to the eye in a corresponding curve. When the series 
are thus represented, they are found to resemble the forms of leaves and 
flowers." — Alary Boole, in " Symbolic Methods of Study ^ 

The Pall Mall Gazette, in a characteristic article entitled, " Very Methodi- 
cal Madness," allows that " Like Rosicrucianism, esoteric Buddhism, and 
other forms of the mystically incomprehensible, it seems to exercise a 
magnetic influence upon many minds by no means as foolish as its original 
inventor's." 

" This work is the result of more than twenty years' application to the dis- 
covery of a method of representing human consciousness in its various stages of 
development by means of geometrical figures — it is, in fact, THE APPLICATION 
OF MATHEMATICAL SYMBOLOGY TO METAPHYSICS. This idea will be new 
to many of our readers ; indeed, so far as we know, Mr Betts is the only 
man who has tried to work out a coherent system of this kind, though his 
work unfortunately remains imperfect." — Theosophist, June 1887. 



%vo, pp. 32, Wrapper^ \s. 

On Mesmerism. 

By a. p. SINNETT. 

Issued as a Transaction of the London Lodge of the Theosophical Society, 
of which Mr Sinnett is President, this pamphlet forms AN admirable 
INTRODUCTION to the Study of Mesmerism. 




LONDON: GEORGE REDWAY. 




\J 



1 
Date Due i 


W ^^ '' 


2 




j 








































































1 

—4 


































































f) 

















NS